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In re M.E.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo

January 8, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF M.E., A CHILD

         On Appeal from the 325th District Court Tarrant County, Texas Trial Court No. 325-577995-15, Honorable Judith G. Wells, Presiding

          Before QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          James T.Campbell Justice

         Appellant, father of M.E., [1] seeks reversal of the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of appellee, Children's Connections, Inc., in a bill of review proceeding. We will affirm.

         Background

         Appellant filed a bill of review challenging an order of the 325th District Court of Tarrant County, terminating his parental rights to M.E., a child born in August 2013. The termination proceeding was brought by Children's Connections, Inc., an adoption agency, after M.E.'s mother placed the child with the agency for adoption. The mother was the only respondent named in the termination order. The order states she waived issuance of citation in her affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights, [2] and did not otherwise appear in the termination proceeding.

         The order terminating parental rights was signed on December 11, 2014, after a final hearing held that date. The order recites the mother's voluntary execution of an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights and her voluntary delivery of the child into the adoption agency's possession, expressing her intent not to return.

         With respect to M.E.'s father, the order states:

The Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child who is the subject of this suit is not the legitimate child of any man, has no presumed father and that a father-child relationship does not exist. The Court further finds by clear and convincing evidence that the biological father has failed to establish any right or interest in or to the child, and that the parent-child relationship between such biological father and such child does not exist in law or in fact, and it is accordingly so ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED.
The Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that no man has registered with the paternity registry within the time prescribed by law under Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code as to the child the subject of this suit and all prerequisites of law have been satisfied. The Court further finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived in the State of Texas.
The Court further finds by clear and convincing evidence that termination of any legal rights or relationships that exist or may exist between the child and the child's biological father is in the best interest of the child.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that all legal relationships and rights which exist or may exist between the child and the child's biological father ARE FINALLY AND FOREVER TERMINATED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED by the Court that the child's biological father is terminated, foreclosed, and divested from ever establishing a parent-child relationship with the subject child; the Court having found that such order is in the best interest of the child.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the parent-child relationship between the child and each living biological parent of the child is terminated, the Court having found that such ...

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