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How To Adopt A Child In Texas

How to Adopt a Child in Texas, by

Not everyone is blessed with children and sometimes adoption, or adopting a baby in Texas, is the only option to experience being a parent. The adoption process in Texas involves licensing.

Adoption Requirements in Texas

You may need to consult with a Houston Adoption Lawyer, or Texas Adoption Attorney to fully understand the adoption process.

The licensing requirements for adoptions include:

  • You must be at least 21 years, mature adult, financially stable and responsible
  • You need to complete an application
  • Agree to a home study that includes visits to the household members and inspection of all the parts of your home, grounds and outbuildings
  • You will be required to provide relative and non-relative references
  • They will ask you to share information about your lifestyle and background
  • You can adopt if you are single, widowed, married or divorced.  But you will need to show proof of marriage if you are married and proof of divorce if you are divorced.  Widows will need to provide proof of their spouse’s death
  • Staff will conduct background checks on you to see your criminal history. They will also conduct a neglect/ abuse check on all adults (people age 14 and older) who live or visit your household regularly.
  • You will have to attend free training to learn about neglected and abused children.  Training helps you decide whether adoption or foster care is best for your family.

Understanding adoption

Some people think that adoption is similar to conservatorship or gaining custody of a child. But the truth is that conservator rights are different from parental rights because they only include the rights that a judge lists in the court order.  Adopted children have greater, automatic inheritance rights because through adoption they become the legal child of the adoptive parents.

If the adoptive parent dies without a will, the adopted child automatically inherits the same as natural born children. This includes inheriting the inheritance that other people left for the child’s adoptive parents.

Who can be adopted and when?

Any person can be adopted but children 12 years and older need to give consent before they are adopted. The child should be at least two years old to be adopted and they can only be adopted after living with the petitioner for six months. However, this requirement can be waived if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child.

What you can expect from adoption process?

You need to be prepared for the several studies and reports that are required in adoption cases. These studies and reports are to help the court decide whether giving you parental rights is in the best interests of the child.  You may also receive reports that will guide how to properly care for the child you adopted. These reports and studies contain:

  • The interviews of the child and the adoptive parents
  • Information about the adoptive child’s relationship with the adoptive parents
  • The child’s behavior in different home environments
  • Assessment of the homes where the child may live in
  • Information about the criminal backgrounds of all the people that live in the potential home of the child

The reports about the child that the adoptive parents may find useful may have information about health, genetic, social and educational history of the child. You may be required to pay for services like criminal background checks, home inspections, TB testing and more.

See also…Stepparent Adoption.