Permanent Managing Conservatorship is a legal term with which Dallas residents seeking to obtain custody of a child should become familiar. It is distinct from adoption — which we discussed in our previous blog post — in some important ways.

PMC must be granted by a Texas judge. It means that you will bear legal responsibility for a child, but that you have not actually adopted that child. It could be granted to a foster parent who has already been fostering a child; it could also be granted to another family member or even one of the child’s own parents in a child custody dispute. Foster parents who are granted PMC will no longer receive payments or other services like day care and case management from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

An adult with PMC can exercise many different legal rights as they relate to the care and support of the child. These include:

  • Making legal decisions on the child’s behalf.
  • Consenting to a wide range of health care procedures and services.
  • Making decisions about the child’s education or religious upbringing.
  • Deciding where the child will live.

Generally, you’ll make all of the same decisions that the child’s parent would make.

However, in some cases, a judge may choose to not terminate the rights of the birth parents when granting a PMC. This means that the birth parents may still exercise certain rights, per court order, including maintaining contact with the child. They may ask the court to expand these rights; they may even petition for custody.

On the other hand, you may petition for child support payments from the birth parents, if their rights are not terminated. There are important legal considerations in a PMC situation; a family law professional can help you understand what they are and protect your rights in a dispute.