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Understanding adoption laws in Texas


Many people in Texas seek to adopt a child. It is a noble and positive step to take, but it is also important that the laws of the state are followed when moving forward with the process. If there are violations of the law when trying to complete an adoption, the process could be declared invalid. A case in which a couple had adopted a child, made him or her a part of the family and was later said to have not completed the process as was required can degenerate into a series of legal wrangling and disputes.

According to the law, an adult can try to adopt a child who is able to be adopted. In Texas, a child can be adopted if the parent-child relationship regarding the living parents has been terminated or a suit to have the relationship terminated is joined with the petition for adoption. There can also be an adoption if a parent who has not had his or her rights terminated is the spouse of the petitioner and the case is to complete a stepparent adoption; the child must be at least 2-years-old, the parental relationship was terminated for one parent, the person seeking to complete the adoption was a managing conservator or was caring for and in control of the child for six months before the adoption, is the child’s stepparent, or the non-terminated parent agrees to the adoption. This also applies if it is a former stepparent seeking adoption.

If there is an affidavit for the parental rights to be relinquished and there is a consent for the Department of Family and Protective Services or there was a child-placement agency putting the child up for adoption and either was appointed as the managing conservator, there does not need to be consent by the parent and the adoption will terminate the rights of the parent without the need to move forward with a termination proceeding.

With an adoption in Texas, it is important that the laws are followed especially if there is a dispute and an attempt to terminate the rights of a biological parent. The best interests of the child are paramount and there are many other factors and adoption issues that will come to the forefront. Speaking to an attorney experienced in adoption is imperative.

Source:, “Sec. 162.001. Who may adopt and be adopted.,” accessed on May 17, 2016

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