Law:Title 2. Child In Relation To The Family (Texas)

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Subtitle A. Limitations Of Minority

Contents

Chapter 31. Removal Of Disabilities Of Minority

Section  31.001.  Requirements.

(a) A minor may petition to have the disabilities of minority removed for limited or general purposes if the minor is:

(1)  a resident of this state;

(2)  17 years of age, or at least 16 years of age and living separate and apart from the minor's parents, managing conservator, or guardian; and

(3)  self-supporting and managing the minor's own financial affairs.

(b)  A minor may file suit under this chapter in the minor's own name. The minor need not be represented by next friend.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  31.002.  Requisites Of Petition; Verification.

(a) The petition for removal of disabilities of minority must state:

(1)  the name, age, and place of residence of the petitioner;

(2)  the name and place of residence of each living parent;

(3)  the name and place of residence of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate, if any;

(4)  the name and place of residence of the managing conservator, if any;

(5)  the reasons why removal would be in the best interest of the minor; and

(6)  the purposes for which removal is requested.

(b)  A parent of the petitioner must verify the petition, except that if a managing conservator or guardian of the person has been appointed, the petition must be verified by that person.  If the person who is to verify the petition is unavailable or that person's whereabouts are unknown, the amicus attorney or attorney ad litem shall verify the petition.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172, Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  31.003.  Venue.

The petitioner shall file the petition in the county in which the petitioner resides.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section 31.004.  Representation Of Petitioner.

The court shall appoint an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem to represent the interest of the petitioner at the hearing.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172, Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  31.005.  Order.

The court by order, or the Texas Supreme Court by rule or order, may remove the disabilities of minority of a minor, including any restriction imposed by Chapter 32, if the court or the Texas Supreme Court finds the removal to be in the best interest of the petitioner. The order or rule must state the limited or general purposes for which disabilities are removed.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1303, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  31.006.  Effect Of General Removal.

Except for specific constitutional and statutory age requirements, a minor whose disabilities are removed for general purposes has the capacity of an adult, including the capacity to contract. Except as provided by federal law, all educational rights accorded to the parent of a student, including the right to make education decisions under Section 151.003(a)(10), transfer to the minor whose disabilities are removed for general purposes.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 767, Sec. 9, eff. June 13, 2001.



Section  31.007.  Registration Of Order Of Another State Or Nation.

(a) A nonresident minor who has had the disabilities of minority removed in the state of the minor's residence may file a certified copy of the order removing disabilities in the deed records of any county in this state.

(b)  When a certified copy of the order of a court of another state or nation is filed, the minor has the capacity of an adult, except as provided by Section 31.006 and by the terms of the order.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Chapter 32. Consent To Treatment Of Child By Non-parent Or Child

Subchapter A. Consent To Medical, Dental, Psychological, And Surgical Treatment

Section  32.001.  Consent By Non-parent.

(a) The following persons may consent to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment of a child when the person having the right to consent as otherwise provided by law cannot be contacted and that person has not given actual notice to the contrary:

(1)  a grandparent of the child;

(2)  an adult brother or sister of the child;

(3)  an adult aunt or uncle of the child;

(4)  an educational institution in which the child is enrolled that has received written authorization to consent from a person having the right to consent;

(5)  an adult who has actual care, control, and possession of the child and has written authorization to consent from a person having the right to consent;

(6)  a court having jurisdiction over a suit affecting the parent-child relationship of which the child is the subject;

(7)  an adult responsible for the actual care, control, and possession of a child under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court or committed by a juvenile court to the care of an agency of the state or county; or

(8)  a peace officer who has lawfully taken custody of a minor, if the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe the minor is in need of immediate medical treatment.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, the Texas Youth Commission may consent to the medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment of a child committed to the Texas Youth Commission under Title 3 when the person having the right to consent has been contacted and that person has not given actual notice to the contrary.  Consent for medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment of a child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator and who is committed to the Texas Youth Commission is governed by Sections 266.004, 266.009, and 266.010.

(c)  This section does not apply to consent for the immunization of a child.

(d)  A person who consents to the medical treatment of a minor under Subsection (a)(7) or (8) is immune from liability for damages resulting from the examination or treatment of the minor, except to the extent of the person's own acts of negligence. A physician or dentist licensed to practice in this state, or a hospital or medical facility at which a minor is treated is immune from liability for damages resulting from the examination or treatment of a minor under this section, except to the extent of the person's own acts of negligence.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 108, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2009.



Section  32.002.  Consent Form.

(a) Consent to medical treatment under this subchapter must be in writing, signed by the person giving consent, and given to the doctor, hospital, or other medical facility that administers the treatment.

(b)  The consent must include:

(1)  the name of the child;

(2)  the name of one or both parents, if known, and the name of any managing conservator or guardian of the child;

(3)  the name of the person giving consent and the person's relationship to the child;

(4)  a statement of the nature of the medical treatment to be given; and

(5)  the date the treatment is to begin.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  32.003.  Consent To Treatment By Child.

(a) A child may consent to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment for the child by a licensed physician or dentist if the child:

(1)  is on active duty with the armed services of the United States of America;

(2)  is:

(A)  16 years of age or older and resides separate and apart from the child's parents, managing conservator, or guardian, with or without the consent of the parents, managing conservator, or guardian and regardless of the duration of the residence; and

(B)  managing the child's own financial affairs, regardless of the source of the income;

(3)  consents to the diagnosis and treatment of an infectious, contagious, or communicable disease that is required by law or a rule to be reported by the licensed physician or dentist to a local health officer or the Texas Department of Health, including all diseases within the scope of Section 81.041, Health and Safety Code;

(4)  is unmarried and pregnant and consents to hospital, medical, or surgical treatment, other than abortion, related to the pregnancy;

(5)  consents to examination and treatment for drug or chemical addiction, drug or chemical dependency, or any other condition directly related to drug or chemical use;

(6)  is unmarried, is the parent of a child, and has actual custody of his or her child and consents to medical, dental, psychological, or surgical treatment for the child; or

(7)  is serving a term of confinement in a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, unless the treatment would constitute a prohibited practice under Section 164.052(a)(19), Occupations Code.

(b)  Consent by a child to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment under this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.

(c)  Consent of the parents, managing conservator, or guardian of a child is not necessary in order to authorize hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care under this section.

(d)  A licensed physician, dentist, or psychologist may, with or without the consent of a child who is a patient, advise the parents, managing conservator, or guardian of the child of the treatment given to or needed by the child.

(e)  A physician, dentist, psychologist, hospital, or medical facility is not liable for the examination and treatment of a child under this section except for the provider's or the facility's own acts of negligence.

(f)  A physician, dentist, psychologist, hospital, or medical facility may rely on the written statement of the child containing the grounds on which the child has capacity to consent to the child's medical treatment.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 2.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1227, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  32.004.  Consent To Counseling.

(a) A child may consent to counseling for:

(1)  suicide prevention;

(2)  chemical addiction or dependency; or

(3)  sexual, physical, or emotional abuse.

(b)  A licensed or certified physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker having reasonable grounds to believe that a child has been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused, is contemplating suicide, or is suffering from a chemical or drug addiction or dependency may:

(1)  counsel the child without the consent of the child's parents or, if applicable, managing conservator or guardian;

(2)  with or without the consent of the child who is a client, advise the child's parents or, if applicable, managing conservator or guardian of the treatment given to or needed by the child; and

(3)  rely on the written statement of the child containing the grounds on which the child has capacity to consent to the child's own treatment under this section.

(c)  Unless consent is obtained as otherwise allowed by law, a physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker may not counsel a child if consent is prohibited by a court order.

(d)  A physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker counseling a child under this section is not liable for damages except for damages resulting from the person's negligence or wilful misconduct.

(e)  A parent, or, if applicable, managing conservator or guardian, who has not consented to counseling treatment of the child is not obligated to compensate a physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker for counseling services rendered under this section.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  32.005.  Examination Without Consent Of Abuse Or Neglect Of Child.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a physician, dentist, or psychologist having reasonable grounds to believe that a child's physical or mental condition has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect may examine the child without the consent of the child, the child's parents, or other person authorized to consent to treatment under this subchapter.

(b)  An examination under this section may include X-rays, blood tests, photographs, and penetration of tissue necessary to accomplish those tests.

(c)  Unless consent is obtained as otherwise allowed by law, a physician, dentist, or psychologist may not examine a child:

(1)  16 years of age or older who refuses to consent; or

(2)  for whom consent is prohibited by a court order.

(d)  A physician, dentist, or psychologist examining a child under this section is not liable for damages except for damages resulting from the physician's or dentist's negligence.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 575, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter B. Immunization

Section  32.101.  Who May Consent To Immunization Of Child.

(a) In addition to persons authorized to consent to immunization under Chapter 151 and Chapter 153, the following persons may consent to the immunization of a child:

(1)  a guardian of the child; and

(2)  a person authorized under the law of another state or a court order to consent for the child.

(b)  If the persons listed in Subsection (a) are not available and the authority to consent is not denied under Subsection (c), consent to the immunization of a child may be given by:

(1)  a grandparent of the child;

(2)  an adult brother or sister of the child;

(3)  an adult aunt or uncle of the child;

(4)  a stepparent of the child;

(5)  an educational institution in which the child is enrolled that has written authorization to consent for the child from a parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other person who under the law of another state or a court order may consent for the child;

(6)  another adult who has actual care, control, and possession of the child and has written authorization to consent for the child from a parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other person who, under the law of another state or a court order, may consent for the child;

(7)  a court having jurisdiction of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship of which the minor is the subject;

(8)  an adult having actual care, control, and possession of the child under an order of a juvenile court or by commitment by a juvenile court to the care of an agency of the state or county; or

(9)  an adult having actual care, control, and possession of the child as the child's primary caregiver.

(c)  A person otherwise authorized to consent under Subsection (a) may not consent for the child if the person has actual knowledge that a parent, managing conservator, guardian of the child, or other person who under the law of another state or a court order may consent for the child:

(1)  has expressly refused to give consent to the immunization;

(2)  has been told not to consent for the child; or

(3)  has withdrawn a prior written authorization for the person to consent.

(d)  The Texas Youth Commission may consent to the immunization of a child committed to it if a parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the minor or other person who, under the law of another state or court order, may consent for the minor has been contacted and:

(1)  refuses to consent; and

(2)  does not expressly deny to the Texas Youth Commission the authority to consent for the child.

(e)  A person who consents under this section shall provide the health care provider with sufficient and accurate health history and other information about the minor for whom the consent is given and, if necessary, sufficient and accurate health history and information about the minor's family to enable the person who may consent to the minor's immunization and the health care provider to determine adequately the risks and benefits inherent in the proposed immunization and to determine whether immunization is advisable.

(f)  Consent to immunization must meet the requirements of Section 32.002(a).

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.09(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  32.102.  Informed Consent To Immunization.

(a) A person authorized to consent to the immunization of a child has the responsibility to ensure that the consent, if given, is an informed consent. The person authorized to consent is not required to be present when the immunization of the child is requested if a consent form that meets the requirements of Section 32.002 has been given to the health care provider.

(b)  The responsibility of a health care provider to provide information to a person consenting to immunization is the same as the provider's responsibility to a parent.

(c)  As part of the information given in the counseling for informed consent, the health care provider shall provide information to inform the person authorized to consent to immunization of the procedures available under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. Section 300aa-1 et seq.) to seek possible recovery for unreimbursed expenses for certain injuries arising out of the administration of certain vaccines.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 32.103 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.09(b), (d), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  32.103.  Limited Liability For Immunization.

(a) In the absence of wilful misconduct or gross negligence, a health care provider who accepts the health history and other information given by a person who is delegated the authority to consent to the immunization of a child during the informed consent counseling is not liable for an adverse reaction to an immunization or for other injuries to the child resulting from factual errors in the health history or information given by the person to the health care provider.

(b)  A person consenting to immunization of a child, a physician, nurse, or other health care provider, or a public health clinic, hospital, or other medical facility is not liable for damages arising from an immunization administered to a child authorized under this subchapter except for injuries resulting from the person's or facility's own acts of negligence.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 32.104 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.09(e), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter C. Miscellaneous Provisions

Section  32.201.  Emergency Shelter Or Care For Minors.

(a) An emergency shelter facility may provide shelter and care to a minor and the minor's child or children, if any.

(b)  An emergency shelter facility may provide shelter or care only during an emergency constituting an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the minor or the minor's child or children.

(c)  Shelter or care provided under this section may not be provided after the 15th day after the date the shelter or care is commenced unless:

(1)  the facility receives consent to continue services from the minor in accordance with Section 32.202; or

(2)  the minor has qualified for financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code, and is on the waiting list for housing assistance.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 192, Sec. 1, eff. June 2, 2003.



Section  32.202.  Consent To Emergency Shelter Or Care By Minor.

(a) A minor may consent to emergency shelter or care to be provided to the minor or the minor's child or children, if any, under Section 32.201(c) if the minor is:

(1)  16 years of age or older and:

(A)  resides separate and apart from the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, regardless of whether the parent, managing conservator, or guardian consents to the residence and regardless of the duration of the residence; and

(B)  manages the minor's own financial affairs, regardless of the source of income; or

(2)  unmarried and is pregnant or is the parent of a child.

(b)  Consent by a minor to emergency shelter or care under this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.

(c)  An emergency shelter facility may, with or without the consent of the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, provide emergency shelter or care to the minor or the minor's child or children under Section 32.201(c).

(d)  An emergency shelter facility is not liable for providing emergency shelter or care to the minor or the minor's child or children if the minor consents as provided by this section, except that the facility is liable for the facility's own acts of negligence.

(e)  An emergency shelter facility may rely on the minor's written statement containing the grounds on which the minor has capacity to consent to emergency shelter or care.

(f)  To the extent of any conflict between this section and Section 32.003, Section 32.003 prevails.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 192, Sec. 2, eff. June 2, 2003.


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