Child Adoption in Texas
Adopting a child can change many lives for the better. It can be an intimating process to start as child adoption laws in Texas are complicated. Although sometimes tedious, the outcome is well worth all the paperwork. If you are ready to make a commitment to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of a child, adoption is a great way to grow your family. There are some basic requirements to becoming an adoptive parent in Texas. The law does not care if you are single or married but you must show proof of marriage or divorce. In Texas, you must be 21, financially stable, and a mature adult. You must be willing to share background and lifestyle information. You must agree to a home study and visit from a licensed Texas social worker who will meet with you and all current household members. Everyone in the household must take part in a background check as well as an abuse and neglect check. Next, you need to make the decision if you want to use an adoption agency, proceed with a private adoption, or adopt through the foster care system. An adoption agency will help you identify a birth mother and child, match you with a child, assist in the placement of a child, and assist in the ending of parental rights and the finalization of the adoption. In a private adoption, a facilitator is often used. A facilitator is a person, who coordinates an adoption by matching a birth mother with possible adoptive parents. Adopting through the foster care system is the third way to adopt a child. In this case, Texas Child Protective Services place children into homes with foster parents that are approved to be potential adoptive parents. In many cases, these foster parents can become the adoptive parents. Foster care adoption is usually the least expensive way to adopt a child. There are three different types of child adoption. A domestic adoption is when both you and the child that you wish to adopt reside in the United States. If you both are in the same state, for example, Texas, that would constitute an intrastate adoption. For a Texas intrastate adoption, you must meet the legal requirements of only Texas. If the child you are adopting is coming from another state to Texas that is called an interstate adoption. You must meet the legal requirements of at least two states (where the child is coming from and from Texas) as well as the requirements of the Interstate Compact Act. An international adoption is when you adopt a child from another country other than where you reside. An international adoption would be subject to the laws of Texas, regulations of both the US and foreign government and the requirements of the Hague Convention. Needless to say, this process may take a little longer. The next question that comes up in your journey towards adoption is whether you want an open or closed adoption. The status quo used to be that most people had a closed adoption, but that has recently changed. In a closed adoption, birth parents and adopting family do not exchange any information that identifies them including last name, social security number, addresses, etc. The records and original birth certificate are sealed. An open adoption means that the birth mother and father, and adopting parent(s) exchange identifying information. A child will know more about their background. If they chose, the family and birth mother can be in contact with one another. How much of a relationship exists is up to both sides. It could be sending pictures once a year to celebrating birthdays together. There are many questions that arise during the Texas child adoption process. At Puhl Law Group, P.C we know adoption laws and can consult with you before, during or after you begin the process to adopt a child and expand your family.