Adoption is an exciting and meaningful way to bring a child into your family. Whether you’re hoping to adopt a stepchild, a close relative, or an unrelated child, the Texas Family Code provides clear guidelines on how to legally complete the adoption process.
To ensure the legal process runs smoothly, having the assistance of an experienced adoption lawyer is essential. Here at Parker & Aguilar, we have years of experience helping Texas families complete the adoption process with ease and confidence.
We proudly serve clients in the following South Texas counties and cities:
- Fort Bend County: Sugar Land, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, and more.
- Brazoria County: Angleton, Freeport, Lake Jackson, Pearland, and more.
- Galveston County: Galveston, Texas City, League City, and more.
- Matagorda County: Bay City, Palacios, Markham, Blessing, and more.
If you’re looking for experienced legal help with a parent adoption, contact us today. We’d be happy to answer any questions and provide the guidance you need to make this process successful.
In the meantime, you can learn more about the legal aspects of adoption in Texas by reading the helpful information we’ve compiled below.
In What Circumstances Can You Adopt a Child in Texas?
Any adult in Texas who wishes to adopt a child may petition the court to approve the adoption. However, the court will only approve an adoption if certain criteria have been satisfied under Texas adoption laws.
The criteria generally revolve around the concept of parental rights, as children may only have a maximum of two legally recognized parents.
Termination of Parental Rights of Both Parents
In many cases, the court must terminate the parental rights of both of the child’s living parents before an adoption is approved. This means that parents will no longer have any legal rights or responsibilities for the child.
This outcome can happen either voluntarily or involuntarily and in several different circumstances, including a previous court ruling, the death of both birth parents, or a request to terminate parental rights being filed with the adoption papers.
If a step parent wishes to adopt a stepchild, they must be married to the child’s parent to be approved for adoption. The parental rights of only one parent must be terminated, and the rights of the parent married to the hopeful adoptive stepparent will remain intact.
In cases where the parental rights of one parent have been terminated but the remaining parent’s rights remain, the remaining parent may give consent to the adoption of a child age two and older by certain individuals.
The individuals who can give consent include the former step parent of the child, a managing conservator, or a person who cared for and controlled the child for at least six months before the adoption papers were filed.
Keep in mind that this is only a brief overview of Texas adoption law, and other circumstances may still qualify for adoption in Texas. When you consult an adoption lawyer at our law firm, we’ll help determine if you meet the legal requirements to adopt a child and provide any guidance you need.
Other Adoption Requirements in Texas
In addition to the criteria outlined above, Texas also has other requirements in place that must be met before a child can be adopted in certain situations.
To adopt a child in Texas, the child must have lived with the hopeful adoptive parent for a minimum of six months. However, the court may waive this requirement if it believes that doing so would be in the child’s best interest. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Consent of a Child Age 12 and Older
If a person wishes to adopt a child who is at least 12 years old, they must receive the child’s consent to be adopted. Like the residency requirement, though, this requirement can also be waived if the court believes the adoption would be in the child’s best interest despite the lack of consent.
Best Interest of the Child
As the above requirements illustrate, the court must always consider what is in the best interest of the child when considering any type of adoption in Texas.
In doing so, the court may consider factors such as the child’s needs and desires, the ability of the adoptive parent to provide a safe and loving upbringing for the child, and the stability of the adoptive parent’s living situation.
Why Hire an Adoption Lawyer?
Although the Texas legal system allows hopeful parents to handle the adoption process without legal representation, it is imperative that you work with an attorney to protect your interests. No two adoption cases are the same, and it’s impossible to predict how the court will rule in any given situation.
That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced adoption lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of the adoption process. When you work with Parker & Aguilar, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the guidance and support necessary to make informed decisions about your legal options and ensure your adoption case is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Work with a local, caring, and knowledgeable adoption attorney. If you live in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, or Matagorda County, we invite you to get in touch with the experienced Texas adoption attorneys at Parker & Aguilar at your earliest convenience.
You can reach our offices at 979-267-7660 (Angleton office) or 281-944-5485 (Sugar Land office) to speak with one of our attorneys. Together, we can lay the foundation for a bright future for your growing family.