If there’s one thing we know at Andrae Law, it’s that there’s no wrong way to make a family. Each year in Texas, hundreds of people become parents to adopted children and begin their life as a family.
From applying to become an adoptive parent to having your child’s name changed and paperwork completed, below is everything couples should know about adopting a child here in Texas.
Adopting a Baby or Child in Texas
The Requirements for Adopting a Child in Texas
In order to adopt a child in Texas, potential adoptive parents must meet several criteria. They must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be financially stable
- Complete an application to adopt
- Share background and lifestyle information with the Court
- Provide references from friends, family, and neighbors
- Have a completed home study
- Submit to criminal background and child abuse checks on all adults living in the household
Your Adoption Options
As with most states in America, couples in Texas have three options when it comes to adopting a child:
- Domestic Infant Adoption: As its name implies, this is the adoption of a baby born here in the United States. Once the child is placed for adoption, his or her birth parents will not have any parental rights. And because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all adoption plan, couples in Texas can opt for a closed adoption, semi-closed adoption, or an open adoption.
- Foster Care Adoption: Children end up in the foster care system for a number of different reasons. And while roughly 50 percent of children end up back with their biological parents, relatives and foster parents are encouraged to adopt those who don’t have that option.
- International Adoption: The process for adopting a baby or child from a foreign country is largely dependent on the country your child is coming from.
The Adoption Process Lasts Long After Your Child is With You
After a formal adoption, finally getting to hold your child in your arms is an amazing experience. However, the process doesn’t end the moment you welcome them home.
After your child has been placed with you, you’ll still need to:
- File a Petition for Adoption. A Petition for Adoption is a legal document that outlines several things, including why the adoptive parent should be able to adopt this child and why the Court should grant the adoption. It can also cover any name changes that will be necessary (such as changing the child’s last name to match the adoptive parents’).
- Request a home study provider. A home study provider will be appointed by the Court and is tasked with completing a home study report. That report will then be sent to and reviewed by the Court.
- Draw up legal paperwork and documents. After the Court has signed the Order of Adoption, your child will need a new birth certificate that states you and your partner as their parents. If your child was adopted from another country, he or she may also need additional documents or an American passport.
Once the adoption is complete, adoptive parents have the same rights as biological parents.
The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Adoption Attorney
The adoption process is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be difficult. Most importantly, a simple misunderstanding (such as filling out paperwork incorrectly or forgetting to complete a step) can seriously jeopardize your chances of adopting a child.
From creating a Petition for Adoption to requesting a home study provider be appointed, Andrae Law PLLC will ensure your growing family is cared for and protected. We’re proud to handle all types of adoptions, including same-sex, step-parent, single or unmarried persons, and grandparent.