SB 77

85(R) - 2017
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
Parental Rights

Companion Bill

HB 1766

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Jane Nelson

Bill Caption

Relating to involuntary termination of parental rights based on sexual assault of the child’s other parent. 

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: No significant fiscal implication to the state is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would add to the list of reasons that outlines when a court may order the termination of a parent-child relationship. Under current law, a court may order the termination of parental rights if the parent has been convicted of the murder of the other parent, criminal attempt, or criminal solicitation. SB 77 adds the “sexual assault of the other parent” to the list of convictions which would allow a court to terminate parental rights. It also allows the court to terminate parental rights if the parent has been placed on community supervision or probation for sexual assault of the other parent of the child. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

The sanctity of the parent child relationship is paramount in a civil society. It is important to guard against allowing that relationship to be permanently affected by the termination of parental rights except for in extreme circumstances. A parent convicted of sexually assaulting the other parent is a serious crime and could legitimately be grounds for termination of parental rights. This bill gives judges discretion to make that decision based on the totality of the facts instead of imposing a new mandate on them. We approve of this provision. Overall we remain neutral on this bill because this does, even with some protections, permit another reason to exercise the life-altering action of terminating parental rights.