There are millions of children waiting to be adopted. For prospective parents who want to expand their family, adoption is an opportunity to raise children in a loving environment. If you’re considering adoption, working with a family law attorney is a good way to navigate the lengthy and emotionally overwhelming process.
Read on for an overview of Texas adoption laws and options—then call the Law Office of Rob Biggers for assistance with your adoption.
Texas adoption laws
According to Texas Family Code Chapter 162, almost any adult can legally adopt a child. If the child is 12 years of age or older, their consent is required. If the person adopting the child is married, their spouse must join in the adoption proceedings, unless they’re the child’s biological parent.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services adds some additional requirements. They want the adoptive parent to be at least 21 years old, be financially stable, agree to a background check, provide references and attend training regarding abused and neglected children. They also require that the parties show proof of marriage or divorce when applicable, complete an application, share information about their “background and lifestyle” and agree to a home study.
These laws apply to all prospective adoptive parents, regardless of whether they are in a same-sex marriage. In the past, some state laws have been proposed which would allow private (yet state-funded) adoption agencies to discriminate on the basis of sexuality and other perceived moral factors. It is unlikely that these will pass judicial review. However, it’s wise to consult with an attorney if you have concerns about this situation.
There are two broad categories of domestic adoptions: foster care adoptions and private adoptions.
Foster care adoptions are often the fastest way to adopt a child. There are many children in foster care waiting for permanent homes. They may have been abused or neglected in their former homes. The Texas DFPS will provide a great deal of social resources to assist in the transition. This tends to be the least expensive adoption option. If you have the temperament and ability to provide for foster children, you can give a child a safer, more stable home.
Private adoptions can be done independently or through an agency. Agencies may have additional requirements for parents, such as income levels. The birth mothers usually make a plan to give their babies up while they’re still pregnant. About 75 percent of these adoptions are finalized in a year or less.
Independent private adoptions usually take place when you already know the birth mother—for example, perhaps she’s a relative who wants to place her child with a close family member. You can initiate and finalize these adoptions with the assistance of an attorney. However, many of the expenses covered by an agency, such as living and medical expenses, may be your own responsibility.
If you’re interested in adopting a child, there are plenty of avenues to explore. Call the Law Office of Rob Biggers to learn more about your adoption options.
**This Blog/Website is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.**
Categorised in: Family Law