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Grandparents Visitation Rights After Adoption

A San Antonio case addressed a factual scenario where the maternal grandparents were named managing conservators of their four grandchildren prior to a termination of their biological parents rights.  After the termination a couple adopted all four children with the consent of the grandparents. 

More than 2 years later the adoptive couple sought and obtained a divorce naming them joint managing conservators of the children.  About eight months later, the grandparents filed an original suit for access, claiming that their consent to the adoption had been procured with a promise of continued visitation and they were no longer being allowed to visit the children.  

The adoptive mom challenged the suit for lack of standing and the court dismissed.  On appeal, the court determined because the grandparents could not demonstrate statutory standing under the Family Code, they were required to rely on a theory of collateral estoppel, claiming that the adoptive parents should not be allowed to challenge the suit because they would never have been permitted to adopt absent the grandparent's consent as managing conservators which was only given because of the promise of visitation.  

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