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Family and Criminal Law Blog

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Adoption Requirements in Texas

For many people, adoption is an answer to prayers. Individuals or couples seeking to have a baby and unable to do so, those eager to provide a home for a child in need, a stepparent who can’t wait to be the legal parent of a child already loved, or pregnant teenagers seeking adoring parents for the baby they can’t take care of -- all find solace in the possibility of adoption. All also have concerns about the variables and complexities involved in the adoption process. For this reason, they all require the services of an adoption attorney with well-honed legal skills and personal sensitivity to the situation.

Questions About Adoption

Depending on the perspective you’re approaching adoption from, you may be wondering:

  • How long will the adoption process take? How much will it cost?
  • What possible roadblocks are there to me being acceptable?
  • Will I be able to find out the background of the biological parent?
  • Will I be able to check out the person or couple who wants to adopt my baby?
  • How can I be sure no one will take my adopted child away from me?
  • Will I be able to ensure that the child I adopt is healthy?
  • How can I be sure the would-be parent of my child is responsible and loving?

By engaging the services of a knowledgeable adoption attorney who knows the laws of your state inside/out, you will learn the answers to all of your questions and give yourself the best chance of having the adoption process go smoothly. An experienced adoption attorney will Guide you through, drafting and reviewing all of the essential documents, representing you at the adoption hearings, and being your dedicated advocate in case of any challenges to your rights.

Eligibility Standards for Adoption in Texas

While some eligibility standards for adoption in Texas vary depending from case to case (e.g. whether you are adopting a child from foster care or adopting a child from outside the United States) many are universally applicable. The primary standard an adopting parent(s) must meet is that he/she/they will provide a safe, loving environment in which the child will thrive. It is important to remember that even though adoption standards are strict, since they are designed to protect innocent children, there are cases in which exceptions can be made.

You Do Not Have to be Married to Adopt in Texas

Contrary to one of the myths about adoption, there is no statute requiring that an individual be married in order to adopt. Though particular adoption agencies may have rules in place restricting adoptions to couples, most are happy to help singles adopt as well.

Are there restrictions to the age and/or sexual orientation of those who want to adopt?

Fortunately for everyone, in 2003 Texas adoption laws were amended to allow gay, as well as straight would-be parents, to adopt children. While there are no legal age limits for adoptive parents, many agencies, especially those that put foster children up for adoption, require that prospective parents be at least 21 years of age. Some have an upper limit of 60 years of age, but exceptions can be made.

How Having a Criminal Record Affects Adoption

While potential parents undergo home studies to determine if they fit the profile of responsible caregivers, minor offenses (misdemeanors) will not usually prevent them from adopting. If an individual (or either individual in a couple) has a felony on his/her record, however, decisions will be made carefully on a case to case basis. If your offense was violent in nature and/or involved child or domestic abuse or neglect or any type of sexual offense, you are unlikely to be considered fit to adopt a child.

Do I have to be rich to adopt a child in Texas?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be wealthy to adopt a child. You do, however, have to be financially stable. It stands to reason that the state is not going to place a child with a family that is unlikely to be able to keep that child adequately clothed, fed, and comfortably housed.

Will my health problem interfere with the adoption process?

While your physical and mental health will be evaluated, you needn’t be in perfect health to adopt a child. The adoption agency will rather be intent on establishing that you have the mental and physical strength to handle raising a child and that any health problems you have are manageable, both physically and financially, in the context of family life. You will have to present up-to-date medical records to verify your state of health.

Contact an Accomplished Texas Adoption Attorney

If you are seriously considering adopting an infant or child, getting in touch with a well-respected adoption attorney will help you understand adoption requirements and options. Taking this step will move you along on your exciting journey towards enlarging your family and spreading your love.


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