For about the past 40 years, Texas and every other state has recognized the right of grandparents to have visitation rights in certain custody cases. This is done to ensure that a child can retain an emotional connection with a family member that may help in his or her development. Grandparents are more likely to obtain such rights when the child's parents are dead or the child has been adopted.
There are several standards that may need to be met for a grandparent to be given visitation rights. Most importantly, a grandparent must show that visitation is in the best interest of the child. In some cases, courts will consider the prior relationship between the grandparent and minor as well as how visitation may impact the relationship between a parent and a child.
Courts may also take into consideration whether or not denying visitation would be detrimental to the child. If a child is adopted, a grandparent's right to visitation may be terminated regardless of who does the adoption. However, it is possible that rights are only terminated if the child is adopted by someone other than another grandparent or stepparent. This assumes that other statuary requirements are met by the grandparent seeking visitation rights.
Those who are seeking to retain or gain visitation with a child may wish to talk to an attorney. A lawyer may be able to help convince a judge that retaining visitation or other rights may be in the best interest of a child. Legal counsel might also establish an individual's ability to be a positive force in the child's life.