What information can be accessed before an adoption?

Texas residents who are interested in adopting a child may benefit from learning more about the preparation required for successfully completing the process. Unless the adoptive parent is a stepparent, grandparent or uncle or aunt through prior adoption, marriage or birth, there must be a report detailing the child’s genetic, education, social and health history. The responsibility of compiling the report lies with the state’s Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, the licensed agency placing the child for adoption or the child’s guardian.

The history report must be filed before the child is placed for adoption. The report should contain any information about emotional, physical or sexual abuse the child may have experienced in the past. The entity putting the child up for adoption is required to issue the report to prospective parents within a reasonable amount of time before the adoptive parents are to meet with the child.

The report issued to prospective parents may be edited as a means to protect the identities of the birth parents and their family members. The adoptive parents also have the right to any psychiatric or psychological information about the child that may be pertinent. Prospective parents also have the right to examine the records or any information provided about the child’s past. The identity of the birth parents may be disclosed at the request of the adoptive parent or guardian or by the adopted child after they reach adulthood.

Those who need more information about how to prepare for an adoption may benefit from consulting a family law attorney who has experience in these matters. Legal counsel may be able to help a client gather the necessary documentation and help ensure that the process is completed properly.

Source: Texas constitution and statutes, “CHAPTER 162. ADOPTION“, December 30, 2014