What are the requirements to adopt a child?

Adopting a child in Texas requires prospective parents to follow state-specific guidelines. The state has enacted requirements for who can adopt and who can be adopted. The state also maintains distinct requirements for children who are residents of the state versus those who live in another state or country.

Children in the state may be adopted if the child’s relationship with each living parent has been terminated. A stepparent may also petition the court for adoption. A child of at least 2 years of age with one parent who has terminated rights and who has been in the care of a former stepparent may also be adopted. Parents may sign an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights, which allows the state’s Department of Protective and Regulatory Services or a licensed child placement agency to place the child up for adoption.

Anyone who wishes to adopt a child in Texas must comply with the court’s orders for documentation and information. Prospective parents who are not related to the child must provide the court with documentation regarding their criminal histories. They must also provide proof that the child has resided with them for at least six months. If the child to be adopted is 12 years or older, he or she must sign a consent form of willingness to be adopted.

Anyone considering becoming an adoptive parent should weigh all the factors in this important decision. The adoption process may include home studies by a social services agency and a lengthy court process. Individuals facing complex adoption issues may benefit from the assistance of a family law attorney who understands the best interests of the child and can guide the parties through adoption court.

Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, “Sec. 162.001. WHO MAY ADOPT AND BE ADOPTED.“, October 15, 2014