Adoption can be a blessing for both the child and the adoptive parents. In Texas, throughout the country and the world, adoption is a legal as well as an emotional process, and as such requires the services of a first-rate family law attorney. Many individuals and couples in West Texas have turned to the capable attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. for help navigating the bureaucratic and often confusing pathways that lead them to expand their families.

Reasons to Adopt

There are many reasons to adopt a child and in some cases, there are several motivating factors at work. Among them are:

  • Infertility of one or both parents
  • The danger of pregnancy due to a medical condition of the mother
  • The risk that genetic defects may be passed on 
  • Desire to be a single parent
  • Desire to give a needy child a loving home
  • Wish to diversify your family racially or ethnically
  • Wanting to adopt your stepchild, foster child or 

the biological child of your same-sex spouse

  • Wanting to avoid contributing to overpopulation 
  • Desire to help a pregnant relative who isn’t in a position to raise a child
  • Wanting to replicate the positive experience you’ve had with your own adoptive parents

In some cases, an individual or couple may want to adopt an adult with whom they have a close parent-child relationship to confirm that relationship or to facilitate inheritance.

Whether your desire to adopt is based on enlarging your family, helping a close family member in trouble or bettering the world at large, a successful adoption must be based on a deep commitment to love and care for the child you take into your home.

Eligibility Standards for Adoption in Texas

Although some eligibility standards for adoption in Texas vary depending on whether the child 

is being adopted from within or outside of the United States, many standards are applicable in either case. State and federal governments, as well as the child and their new parents, are best served if the child is raised in a safe and loving environment. For this reason, in order to be eligible to adopt a child in Texas, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age (and in some cases under 60)
  • Be responsible and mature
  • Complete a detailed adoption application
  • Share background and lifestyle information
  • Provide references
  • Supply proof of marriage or divorce if applicable
  • Successfully undergo a background check for any criminal 

offenses or abuse/neglect issues 

  • Be evaluated through a home study involving interviews, home visits, and a review of your marital, financial, physical, and mental health status to prove your ability to provide a stable home
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident of the U.S.

It should be noted that in Texas you can adopt as a single person and you can adopt regardless of your sexual identity or orientation, but if you are married, in most cases, you and your spouse must both adopt the child. Also, if you have any history of violent criminal behavior, even if that history does not include child abuse, a sexual offense or domestic violence, you are unlikely to be approved as an adoptive parent. Convictions for misdemeanors, however, will not typically be disqualifications.

How Financial Stability for Adoption Is Assessed

While you do not have to be wealthy to adopt, you do have to have a household income equal to or higher than 125 percent of the U.S. poverty level for the size of your household. Your household consists of you, your dependents, any relatives living with you, and the child you wish to adopt. Although you do not have to be rich to adopt, the reality is that adoption is usually an expensive undertaking, requiring significant resources. Costs, which are higher for international adoptions, may range from $25,000 to $60,000.

How Your Health Is Evaluated Prior to Adoption

Although your physical and mental health will be evaluated prior to adoption, you need not be in perfect health to be able to adopt a child. You will have to present current medical records to verify your state of health. If you have a chronic or serious illness, you will require a letter from your primary care physician attesting to the fact (insofar as discernable) that you will be physically stable and able to parent until the child is at least 16 years old.

How Adoption Takes Place in Texas

There are several ways to adopt in Texas and Navarrete & Schwartz is experienced with all of them. We will support you whether your adoption journey involves: an adoption agency, a direct placement, an international adoption, a stepparent adoption, or kinship adoption (the adoption of a relative’s child).

Generally speaking, direct placements, kinship adoptions, and domestic adoptions move more quickly than international adoptions since the latter involve the laws of other countries as well as U.S. immigration policies. In any case, adoptions typically require patience, and may take many months to more than a year to finalize. 

Why Having a Strong Adoption Attorney Is Invaluable

Adoption can be a complicated process, additionally stressful because it involves such a deeply emotional cause. Our attorneys are here to help by:

  • Guiding you to appropriate agencies
  • Interpreting adoption laws and ensuring your compliance
  • Filing necessary documents accurately and on time
  • Representing and advocating for you if any disputes arise
  • Ensuring your adoption goes as smoothly and quickly as possible

Contact Our Experienced Adoption Attorneys Today

Once your new family member arrives, your child will have all the rights of a biological child, including the right to inherit. In the end, it makes no difference how your family grows as long as it is rooted in love. Get in touch with our accomplished legal team now so we can help you plan the adventure of a lifetime.