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Adoption in Texas: What Should You Know?

 Posted on July 10, 2023 in Adoption

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_693974416.jpgAdoption is a complex but rewarding process for raising children in a nurturing and safe home. Married couples or single adults interested in welcoming a new family member need to meet specific requirements to qualify for adoption in Texas. This article shares valuable insights on the state regulations and process so you know what to expect before and after application. 

Eligibility Requirements to Adopt a Child in Texas 

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) in Texas permits mature and responsible adults aged 21 years and above to apply for adoption. 

 

Applicants must meet the following requirements to qualify: 

 

  • Prove financial stability to ensure a child receives the best care and support possible. 

  • Submit a report proving the prospective parent has no criminal records or history of abusive behavior. Other adults living in the applicant’s household must also have no prior charges. 

  • Complete a home study involving interviews and home evaluations so DFPS can know more about their lifestyle and living conditions. 

  • Share verified references to support the application. 

 

Moreover, applicants must complete the relevant paperwork to file a petition. Married applicants must submit proof of a legal marriage and additional information to qualify. 

Understanding the Adoption Options in Texas 

Before applying for adoption, you should review the options available to complete the process.  

 

Here’s an overview: 

 

  • Family Adoptions. Grandparents, stepparents, older siblings, and other relatives can file a petition to adopt a child. This is done to attain responsibility for a child when the biological parents cannot care for their child’s well-being or have passed away.

  • Agency Adoptions in Texas. You can adopt a child via a state-owned or privately-operated adoption agency. 

  • Adoptions Outside Texas. You can also select reputable interstate or international agencies to expand your family. The application process for these adoptions adheres to interstate compact laws and international regulations respectively. 

  • Closed Adoptions. Agencies seal a child’s birth and adoption records if the birth family wants to stay anonymous. Adoptive parents may receive background information on parents when they review a child’s profile. 

  • Open Adoptions. Biological and adoptive parents agree to meet before the adoption and remain in contact. This allows birth parents to receive updates on the child through the years. 

 

Texas laws mandate biological parents terminate parental rights before the adoption occurs, regardless of the situation. The state may terminate rights involuntarily to protect a child living in unsafe conditions.

 

Shifting parental rights allows adoptive parents to become legally responsible for the child. It also prevents biological parents from separating a child from their adoptive family in the future. 

 

Before committing to this process, consider the legal implications and responsibility.  Seeking legal advice can help you make an informed decision. 

 

Contact a Travis County Adoption Lawyer 

The duration of an adoption process in Texas varies from case to case. Asking adoption attorneys for advice allows you to set realistic expectations and review paperwork. Contact Travis County adoption attorneys from Powers and Kerr, PLLC, by dialing 512-610-6199 today to book a consultation and learn more.  

Sources:

 

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.162.htm#162.001

 

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