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What does an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative or Voluntary Caregiver form do?
An Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative or Voluntary Caregiver (Authorization Agreement for short) authorizes the nonparent to:
- consent to medical treatment for the child; and
- get insurance for the child; and
- enroll the child in school or day-care; and
- consent to extracurricular activities; and
- consent to the child getting a driver’s license or state identification card; and
- consent to the child getting a job; and
- apply for public benefits on behalf of the child.
An Authorization Agreement does not authorize the nonparent to consent to an abortion or emergency contraception for the child.
The Authorization Agreement form includes a more specific list of authorized actions. Get the form here: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/site_map/forms.asp.
Read the law about nonparent authorization agreements here: Texas Family Code Chapter 34.
Who can be authorized?
Only the following people can be authorized to make decisions for a child using the Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative or Voluntary Caregiver form:
- the child’s grandparent, or
- the child’s aunt or uncle, or
- the child’s adult sibling, or
- other voluntary caregiver (if the child is placed with the caregiver under a Child Protective Services (CPS) parental child safety agreement).
NOTE: The law changes on September 1, 2017. The new law allows any adult caregiver to be authorized to provide temporary care for a child using an Authorization Agreement form. See House Bill 871. Check back September 1, 2017 for an updated Authorization Agreement form.
What if I want to authorize someone else to make decisions for my child?
Talk with a lawyer if you want someone other than the nonparents listed above to care for and make decisions for your child.
What if I’m caring for someone else’s child but I’m not on the list of the people who can be authorized?
If you’re not on the list of people who can be authorized to make decisions for a child using an Authorization Agreement, you may want to consider asking for a custody order. Get information, instructions and forms here: I need a SAPCR (custody) order. I am not the child’s parent.
Where can I get the Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative or Voluntary Caregiver form?
Get the form here: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/site_map/forms.asp.
Who must sign the Authorization Agreement form?
At least one parent and the nonparent must sign the Authorization Agreement form.
Do I have to tell the child’s other parent if I sign an Authorization Agreement form?
Yes. You must mail a copy of the signed Authorization Agreement form to the other parent within 10 days of signing the form. Make sure to send the signed form by certified mail return receipt requested (or international registered mail if applicable).
If the other parent does not respond within 20 days, you must mail a copy of the Authorization Agreement form a second time. This time, mail the form to the other parent by first class (or international first class mail if applicable). If you have to mail the form a second time, it should be mailed within 45 days of the date it was signed.
Note: You do not have to send a copy of the Authorization Agreement form to:
- a parent whose parental rights were terminated, or
- a parent who is the subject to a protective order involving you or one of your children, or
- a parent who was convicted of certain crimes.
The Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative form includes a specific list of exceptions to the mailing requirement.
Important! Talk with a lawyer if there has been violence or if you are concerned about a non-signing parent having a copy of the Authorization Agreement form. Call the Family Violence Legal Line at 1-800-374-4673 for free advice.
Do I need to go to court for the Authorization Agreement to be effective?
Court permission is needed only if:
- There is a current court order about the child, or
- There is a pending case in court involving the child.
Talk to a lawyer if you need court permission.
How long does an Authorization Agreement last?
The Authorization Agreement lasts (remains effective) until you cancel it in writing or until the expiration date you wrote on the form. If you check the applicable box on the form, the Authorization Agreement form can remain effective after your incapacity or death.
If a court case about the child occurs after the Authorization Agreement form is signed, the judge will decide if the form remains in effect.
Can the parent or parents take back an Authorization Agreement?
Yes. If you are the parent, you can take back or cancel an Authorization Agreement at any time in writing. However, leaving your child with a nonparent for an extended time could affect your rights as a parent. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer before signing an Authorization Agreement.
If you are the nonparent and are concerned about the parent (or parents) canceling the Authorization Agreement, you may want to consider getting a custody order. Get information, instructions and forms here: I need a SAPCR (custody) order. I am not the child’s parent. Talk to a lawyer if you have questions or need advice.