Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
“Train up a child in
the way he should go
and when he is old,
he will not depart
from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

Parental consent and adoption

Many couples in the Dallas area are not able to have children biologically and be considering adoption as a way to have a family. In other cases, a Texas may just have a kind heart and want to provide a home for a child who is in need of good care and support. In still other cases, it may be a stepparent or other close relative who has been raising a child for quite some time and just wants to make the relationship "official."

In whatever case, filing for and getting a court order making a person the legal parent of a child, with all the rights and responsibilities parenting come with, is not always a simple matter, as there are a lot of procedural steps to take before the court will be able to say an adoption is indeed in a child's best interests.

One of the most difficult steps, at least in some adoptions, can be getting consent from the child's biological parents. Both state and federal law recognize the important role biological parents play in the lives of their children and will not set aside that important relationship without either a very good reason or the biological parent's agreement.

In Texas, a biological parent can fill out and sign an approved consent form under oath. If a parent signs this form and it gets filed with the court, it gives the state or a private adoption agency the ability to place the child for adoption. No further court orders are necessary, although it is important that the biological parent sign such a consent without any undue pressure and with full knowledge of what he or she is doing.

Otherwise, the only option for a family who wants to adopt a child is to get a court order terminating the parental rights of both biological parents, assuming of course those rights have not already been terminated in a separate proceeding.

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