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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, Family to Family Adoptions Inc., appeals the trial court’s judgment in a parentage action ordering it to pay the father’s attorney’s fees. This appeal stems from the trial court’s award of attorney’s fees in a suit to establish a parent-child relationship between appellee Jose Luis Aguilar and his biological son, “B.B.R.” A few months before the baby was born, the baby’s mother, Jacqueline Denise Ray, located potential adoptive parents for the baby boy and sought to have him placed with them. Family to Family Adoptions Inc. was hired sometime in the spring of 2003 to facilitate the adoption. The baby was born June 17, 2003, the same day that Aguilar filed his petition to establish parentage in Denton County. Aguilar told Ray before the baby was born that he did not want to relinquish his parental rights to his son. Aguilar also told Debbie Seiler, a Family to Family employee, a few days before the baby was born that he was not willing to give up his parental rights. Nevertheless, Family to Family moved forward with the adoption by preparing an affidavit for Ray’s signature relinquishing her parental rights, which named Family to Family as the baby’s managing conservator. Family to Family also prepared an adoption plan to be signed by Ray and the potential adoptive parents. Ray and the potential adoptive parents signed these documents June 19, 2003; six days later, the potential adoptive parents took the baby home with them to Maryland. On June 20, 2003, three days after Aguilar filed his suit in Denton County, Family to Family filed suit to terminate Ray’s and Aguilar’s parental rights in Fort Bend County. One week later, Aguilar filed an amended petition in his Denton County suit identifying Family to Family as a party entitled to citation because “[t]he mother signed a parental relinquishment affidavit naming [Family to Family] as managing conservator of this child.” The amended petition also named Family to Family as a respondent. Ray executed an affidavit purporting to revoke her relinquishment of parental rights. On July 18, 2003, the Denton County court ordered Family to Family to retrieve the baby from Maryland and return him to Texas. Family to Family returned the baby and then nonsuited the Fort Bend County action on or about July 21, 2003. Also on July 21, the potential adoptive parents intervened in Aguilar’s Denton County suit to gain custody of the baby. They nonsuited this intervention Aug. 14, 2003. Over the next year, Ray and Aguilar signed several Rule 11 agreements regarding custody and support arrangements for the baby. The trial court signed an order Sept. 22, 2004, adjudicating Aguilar to be the baby’s father, appointing Aguilar and Ray joint managing conservators of the baby, and giving Aguilar the right to determine the baby’s primary residence. This order also directed Family to Family to pay $16,447.98 in fees and costs to Aguilar’s attorney. Family to Family now brings this appeal. HOLDING:Affirmed. Family to Family complains that the trial court was without jurisdiction to award attorney’s fees against it, because Aguilar lacked standing to sue Family to Family in his parentage action. The court is not persuaded that Family to Family was not a necessary party to this suit merely because it is not included in the family code’s list of necessary parties to parentage suits generally. Texas Family Code �160.603. Naming Family to Family as a party was necessary in this action, because Ray had relinquished her rights to the baby at the time the amended petition was filed; as between the parents and the adoption agency, only Family to Family exercised control over possession of the child and could direct the potential adoptive parents to return the child to Texas. Furthermore, Family to Family filed an answer in this suit and never sought to have itself dismissed from the case in the trial court. The court concludes that Aguilar had standing to sue Family to Family for his attorney’s fees in this controversy over custody of the baby. All the attorney’s fees awarded by the trial court were incurred in the attorney’s representation of Aguilar alone in his efforts to establish parentage and gain custody of the baby. The court is not persuaded that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding fees incurred in relation to the Fort Bend County lawsuit merely because Family to Family chose to assert its termination cause of action in a separate lawsuit in Fort Bend County rather than in Denton County, which already had dominant jurisdiction over the custody dispute. OPINION:McCoy, Bob, J.; Dauphinot, Walker and McCoy, JJ.

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