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Sec. 107.003: Powers and Duties of Attorney Ad Litem for Child and Amicus Attorney

(a) An attorney ad litem appointed to represent a child or an amicus attorney appointed to assist the court:

(1) shall:

(A) subject to Rules 4.02, 4.03, and 4.04, Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, and within a reasonable time after the appointment, interview:

(i) the child in a developmentally appropriate manner, if the child is four years of age or older;

(ii) each person who has significant knowledge of the child's history and condition, including any foster parent of the child; and

(iii) the parties to the suit;

(B) seek to elicit in a developmentally appropriate manner the child's expressed objectives of representation;

(C) consider the impact on the child in formulating the attorney's presentation of the child's expressed objectives of representation to the court;

(D) investigate the facts of the case to the extent the attorney considers appropriate;

(E) obtain and review copies of relevant records relating to the child as provided by Section 107.006;

(F) participate in the conduct of the litigation to the same extent as an attorney for a party;

(G) take any action consistent with the child's interests that the attorney considers necessary to expedite the proceedings;

(H) encourage settlement and the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution; and

(I) review and sign, or decline to sign, a proposed or agreed order affecting the child;

(2) must be trained in child advocacy or have experience determined by the court to be equivalent to that training; and

(3) is entitled to:

(A) request clarification from the court if the role of the attorney is ambiguous;

(B) request a hearing or trial on the merits;

(C) consent or refuse to consent to an interview of the child by another attorney;

(D) receive a copy of each pleading or other paper filed with the court;

(E) receive notice of each hearing in the suit;

(F) participate in any case staffing concerning the child conducted by the Department of Family and Protective Services; and

(G) attend all legal proceedings in the suit.

(b) In addition to the duties required by Subsection (a), an attorney ad litem appointed for a child in a proceeding under Chapter 262, 263, or 264 shall:

(1) review the medical care provided to the child;

(2) in a developmentally appropriate manner, seek to elicit the child's opinion on the medical care provided;

(3) for a child at least 16 years of age:

(A) advise the child of the child's right to request the court to authorize the child to consent to the child's own medical care under Section 266.010; and

(B) ascertain whether the child has received the following documents:

(i) a certified copy of the child's birth certificate;

(ii) a social security card or a replacement social security card;

(iii) a driver's license or personal identification certificate under Chapter 521, Transportation Code; and

(iv) any other personal document the Department of Family and Protective Services determines appropriate; and

(4) seek to elicit in a developmentally appropriate manner the name of any adult, particularly an adult residing in the child's community, who could be a relative or designated caregiver for the child and immediately provide the names of those individuals to the Department of Family and Protective Services.


Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1294, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172 (H.B. 307), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 204 (H.B. 915), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.033, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 319 (S.B. 11), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937 (S.B. 1758), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1294 (H.B. 3390), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2019.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 8 (H.B. 567), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2021.