Understanding eligibility requirements for adoption

The Texas Family Code outlines certain limitations regarding the adoption process. Except under certain circumstances, any adult is legally able to pursue an adoption. However, a number of restrictions limits if a child is eligible for adoption.

In order for a child in the sat to be adopted legally, the relationship with the child and the current parents must be terminated. Generally, if the relationship has not ended, the suit for termination may be combined with the petition for adoption.

The requirements change when the person seeking adoption is a stepparent, conservator or other individual that has provided care and control over the child. In order for an individual who fulfills one of those roles to adopt the child, he or she has to be at least two years old and his or her relationship with one parent has to be terminated. In addition, a child may be adopted at any time if parents have relinquished parental rights and appointed the Department of Protective and Regulatory services or an adoption agency as a managing conservator of the child. When this occurs, the child may be adopted without requiring additional consent from the former parent.

While the laws regarding who can adopt and who can be adopted are relatively straightforward, a number of factors can complicate the actual process of adoption. For example, the submission of an adoption petition necessitates compliance with certain prerequisites, and pre-adoptive and post-adoptive studies must be completed. Those seeking an adoption may benefit from working with an attorney who is familiar with the process. That attorney could help a prospective parent understand his or her rights and obligations throughout proceedings.

Source: Texas constitution and Statutes , “Chapter 162. Adoption“, September 15, 2014