In the interest of child welfare, authorities may decide to remove minors from their homes in favor of third-party custody. Despite the willingness of family members to step in as caregivers, family law courts have the authority to limit grandparents’ child custody rights when deemed necessary. In the case of one Texas family, lack of communication between court representatives and the children’s school may have been the cause of an Amber Alert.
Our Austin readers may be alarmed to hear that three siblings were accidentally released from an elementary school into their biological grandmother’s custody. According to reports, a school nurse contacted the grandmother, who signed the three children out of school in the afternoon. The nurse supposedly tried other contact numbers for the students before reaching the grandmother.
The three children had been removed from their mother’s custody and were currently under the guardianship of a Child Protective Services affiliate. Apparently, the grandmother was also denied access to the children, and authorities were concerned the woman might cross the Texas border into Mexico. The grandmother’s actions were treated as abduction, and an Amber Alert was issued by Texas law enforcement.
Authorities suspect that the children’s emergency contact information hadn’t been updated following the custody change. The school’s error was recognized when the CPS affiliate arrived to pick up the siblings. The Amber Alert was canceled on Jan. 17 after the grandmother and the children were found in Bexar County.
As this case indicates, relatives may strongly disagree with the results of a custody hearing and feel tempted to oppose the court. But that doesn’t give grandparents or parents the right to circumvent the proper legal channels for modifying a custody order.
Source: kvue.com, “Amber Alert canceled after Texas children found,” Dillon Collier, Jan. 18, 2013