Jackson Walker partner Erica Benites Giese represented foster parents pro bono in an emotional and highly contested matter involving multiple children in the care of the Department of Family and Protective Services (Child Protective Services).
In July 2021, the foster parents filed a Petition in Intervention in Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship pursuant to Texas Family Code. This Code allows a foster parent to gain standing to intervene as parties to the litigation if the foster child has been in the foster home for more than 12 months. After the children were in the foster parents’ home for well over a year, a district court in Blanco County granted the foster parents’ petition to intervene. Two of the children’s biological parents agreed to a bench trial during which Child Protective Services sought to terminate their rights to each of their biological children.
After a two-day bench trial, the court agreed that termination was in the best interest of the children and issued an order terminating the parents’ parental rights. The termination severed one biological father’s rights to his two children and the mother’s right to her three children. A third parent, biological father to one of the children, asked a jury to consider whether his rights should be terminated. Following a three-day jury trial and over five hours of jury deliberations, the jury returned a verdict terminating the biological father’s rights to the eldest child.
“This is truly a big win and happy ending for our clients and the beginning of a safe and bright future for the children. I am honored to help them in their journey and am grateful for the opportunity to fight for them,” Erica said. She concluded by noting, “We are hopeful that the terminations will be upheld and that the foster parents will be free to adopt all three children.”
“This is truly a big win and happy ending for our clients and the beginning of a safe and bright future for the children.”
The representation marks another example of Jackson Walker securing results for its clients, from the Fortune 100 and its executive suites to those less fortunate in our communities. Our dedicated Pro Bono program provides support for attorneys’ pro bono efforts both in terms of legal service and financial support. We are quite proud of the fact that the Firm spends over 6,000 hours on pro bono causes every year. To explore our efforts to help ensure equal access to justice, visit our Pro Bono page.