About 4 years ago in Texas I was forced to sign over my rights for my daughter to her paternal grandparents because I was told that if I did not then I would never see her again and they would take away any children that I might have in the future. There was a verbal agreement that my family and I would be actively involved in my daughter's life after the 90 day adoption period. They didn't let me see my daughter for 9 months, when her father was released from jail and I agreed to reconcile with him. He went back to jail a couple months later and when he was arrested that didn't let me see her for adjust a year.
Now that her father is out of prison they agreed to let me see her once a week but they only let me see her every 4 to 6 weeks. Every week they make an excuse. I''ve reached out to them many times trying to see her or even talk to her on the phone.
I would not have signed my rights away if they had not convinced me that I would never see her again if I continued to fight for her and if we had not made a verbal agreement that I would be actively involved in her life. I get to see her very rarely and we meet at public places and I barely get to spend much time with her. I feel like my daughter is getting away from me.
They also say bad things about me to her. My 5 year old daughter ask me questions about things that no child should think, especially about their mother.
I made a few mistakes when I was younger but I was a good mother and never deserved my daughter to be taken. When my daughter was born her paternal grandparents offered me $25,000 to give them to her but I told them I wouldn't give her up for all the money in the world. Ever since then they used all their money and connections to make sure they got her.
I signed my rights away under extreme duress and false knowledge and promises. Is there any way that I can go back to court and fight for at least visitation rights, like getting her on weekends and holidays? What are my chances and where should I start? It's been 4 long years and I'm constantly missing my daughter. I would do anything to even just get more time with her. A couple hours every month or so isn't healthy for either of us. My daughter needs her mommy.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Your situation is difficult. Apparently, however, there are court orders in place. Several times you mention that you signed away your rights. Was that informal, or did a court order terminate your parental rights? If there is an order terminating your parental rights, then it is might be permanent, especially if you agreed. No verbal agreement is going to overturn a court order. Every case is specific and there may be something fraudulent that is capable of setting aside the court order. Know, however, that there are specific time deadlines to any chance at filing. It is complicated, and expensive. Without a great deal more information, there is no way to speculate if you have a chance at reversing this situation. First, get a full and complete copy of your file. Take it to a local lawyer to review and consult. A reasonable consultation fee is $300. Last, and maybe most important, make your life better. Work, be good, improve your situation the best way you can. Make your place in the world a good place for your daughter. Ingratiate yourself to your inlaws. Make them see the improvement. It won't happen overnight, but it might work. Good luck.