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My girlfriend is having a serious problem. The was put up…

Customer Question
Hey my girlfriend is...

Hey my girlfriend is having a serious problem. The was put up for an open adoption as a baby she is now 17 at age 16 without her adoptive mother's permission, her birth mother took her from Texas and now has her in California. Her adoptive parents seem to have abandoned her with her birth mother. Is this legal? Because it sounds like child abandonment on the adoptive parents' part and kid napping on the birth mother's part. Please help we need clarity

Lawyer's Assistant: Were the police contacted? Is there an active case or investigation?

Her adoptive parents did not call the police. We believe they are happy with her now out of the house, they cut off all communication to her and won't return any phone calls.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

That seems like mostly it.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
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Answered in 3 hours by:
7/31/2017
Family Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,291
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Under Texas law, kidnapping occurs when a person takes a child from the state without the consent of the parent or guardian. Tex. Pen. Code, Section 20.01. It wasn't kidnapping for the mother to take her at 16 with the consent of the birth parents.

Abandonment is a type of child abuse, and it requires leaving a child in a situation where there is a substantial risk of harm (including emotional harm) without making arrangements for the child to be cared for. Family Code, Section 261.01. It is unfortunately not considered abandonment to make arrangements for a person under the age of 18 to be cared for by another adult, unless they had reason to believe the birth mother would put her in danger.

If she IS in danger of emotional or physical harm, either you or she can call child services and ask them to intervene. If she's safe, then she will be free to return to Texas on her 18th birthday.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I am paid for the time I spent answering your question. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Good luck.

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Family Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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