How to Adopt in Texas
To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Texas.
What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Texas?
- At least 21 years old
- Healthy enough to assume parental responsibility
- Financially able to support the child
- Willing to respect and encourage the child’s religious affiliation
All Prospective Adoptive Parents must also complete an approved home study before a child may be placed into their home.
How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Texas?
- Attorney fees
- Agency fees
- Counseling services for the Birth Mother
- Medical bills for the Birth Mother and child
- Other necessary and reasonable living expenses of the Birth Mother
How do you become a Foster Parent in Texas?
- Be at least 21 years old
- Provide references from relatives and non-relatives
- Be financially stable and able to support a child
- If married, show proof of marriage
- Complete a home study
- Complete a criminal background check and child abuse and neglect registry check
- Attend foster parent training
- Provide adequate sleeping spade for the child
- Agree to a non-physical discipline policy
- Be CPR and First Aid certified
- Pass home safety inspections
- Attend at least 20 hours of training per year
- Vaccinate all pets
- Obtain TB testing
- Allow no more than 6 children into the home including your own or if you provide a day care service
Can you finalize an international adoption in Texas?
International adoptions that followed the laws of the U.S. and the county from which the child was adopted can be finalized in Texas. Adoptive Families in Texas may also decide to complete the readoption process which will allow the child to receive a U.S. birth certificate, protect the adoption from legal challenges, and ensure the child’s ability to inherit from the Adoptive Parents.
What is a facilitator and is it legal to use their services for adoption in Texas?
An adoption facilitator specializes in matching prospective Adoptive Families with expectant mothers; however, they are usually unlicensed and unregulated. In Texas, it is illegal for any entity other than a licensed adoption agency to advertise that a person is seeking to adopt or to place a child for adoption in any public media.
Click here to read about the difference between adoption agencies, attorneys, and facilitators.
What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in Texas
Considering adoption in the Lone Star state? Take a look at some Texas families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey.
If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Texas.
Who must consent to an adoption in Texas?
Consent to a Texas adoption must be in writing and given by the child’s legal guardian, also referred to as the managing conservator.
When is consent not necessary for adoption in Texas?
- Is unable to care for a child due to mental illness
- Committed a crime that resulted in the birth of the child
- Has voluntarily terminated their parental rights
- Attempted abortion but the child survives
- Has had their parental rights terminated for abandonment, neglect, abuse, or endangerment of the child
You're Not Giving Up
In the past, society had put a negative twist on adoption for Birth Mothers who were considering adoption. Without knowledge of the Birth Mothers circumstances and reasoning for choosing adoption they would carelessly say she’s “giving up” her baby for adoption, when in fact she is doing the opposite of "giving up." If you are considering adoption for your baby, you should feel confident in your decision and know that you are not “giving up” your baby. Your decision to make an adoption plan is a selfless choice putting the needs of your child above yours.
How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Texas?
An affidavit for voluntary termination of parental rights may be signed 48 hours after the child is born by the parent forfeiting their rights. It must be signed before 2 witnesses and verified by a person who is authorized to take oaths.
- The name, age, and address of the parent relinquishing their parental rights
- A description of any property owned by the child
- A statement that the parent has been informed of their rights and duties
- A statement that the consent is revocable, irrevocable after a certain amount of time, or irrevocable immediately
- A statement that the relinquishment is in the child’s best interest
- A statement that the parent terminating their rights does not have to financially support the child
- A designation of the child’s new legal guardian
A man may give consent and disclaim any interest in the child at any time. It must be signed before 2 witnesses and verified by a person who is authorized to take oaths. This affidavit can include a statement that the man does not admit to being the father or having a sexual relationship with the Birth Mother.
Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Texas?
In Texas, the legal guardian who consented to adoption may revoke their consent at any time before a court order granting the child’s adoption.
A relinquishment of parental rights that grants the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services or another licensed agency as the child’s legal guardian is irrevocable.
An affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights that fails to state that the relinquishment is irrevocable for a stated time is revocable only if the revocation is made before the 11th day after the date the affidavit is executed.
What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Texas?
A man is considered to be a child’s father and is entitled to parental rights if:
- He is married to the Birth Mother and the child was born during their marriage
- He is married to the Birth Mother and the child is born by the 301st day after the marriage is terminated by death, divorce, annulment, or declaration of infidelity
- He lived with the child for the first 2 years of its life and represented to others that the child was his own
He married the child’s Birth Mother after she gave birth but voluntarily
declared his paternity, and:
- It is in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics
- He promised, in a record, to care for the child as his own
- He lived with the child and Birth Mother for the first 2 years of the child’s life and represented to others that the child was his own
In Texas, a man who wishes to be notified of adoption proceedings or termination of parental rights for a child they may have father can register with the Texas Paternity Registry before the child is born or within 31 days of the child’s birth.
Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Texas
Prospective Adoptive Parents in Texas are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.
What is a home study and what happens during the process?
- A personal interview with each Prospective Parent
An evaluation of the home environment to ensure:
- The safety and cleanliness
- The installation of smoke detectors
- Free of obvious hazards
- All pets are vaccinated
- If the adoptive home has a pool or other bodies of water, that there are plans in place for the child’s safety
- An interview of each Adoptive Child in the home who is at least 4 years old, if any
- An observation of each Adoptive Child in the home, if any
criminal background check
and central registry check for:
- Each Prospective Parent
- Anyone 14 years or older living in the home
A fingerprint-based criminal background check for
- Each Prospective Parent
- Anyone 18 years or older living in the home
Who oversees a home study in Texas and who is included in it?
In Texas, anyone living in the home of the Prospective Adoptive Parents will be included in the home study process and it may be conducted by a private entity, domestic relations office, state agency, or a court-appointed representative.
Why would my home study not be approved in Texas?
- Public indecency
- Offenses against a person in the family
- Failure to stop or report aggravated sexual assault of a child
Any offense in the past 10 years including:
- Making firearms accessible to a child
- Alcohol-related offenses
- Those under the Texas Controlled Substances Act
A home study will also be denied approval if the applicant or other adult in the house fails the central registry for child abuse and neglect background check.
What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?
Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the state of Texas is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?
An assessment of the child’s:
- Legal status
- Health, social, educational, genetic, and family history
- Understanding of adoption placement
- History of previous placements, if any
- History of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, if any
An interview and assessment of the Adoptive Parents to include:
- Individual strengths and weaknesses
- Home screening and results of a criminal background check
- Observations of the interactions of the child and family
- A summary of the overall adjustment to the adoption
- An evaluation of the child’s needs and whether the family meets those needs
Texas Adoption Agencies and Professionals
Texas is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:Abrazo Adoption Associates
1-800-454-5683The Adoption Alliance
1-800-626-4324Texas Adoption Center
512-893-7943Lifetree Adoption Agency
Things to do in Texas
There are so many sights to see throughout the Lone Star State, so if your adoption journey leads you to Texas be sure to visit some of its most popular attractions:
The River Walk in San Antonio
The Alamo in San Antonio
AT&T Stadium in Arlington
National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg
Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Dallas
A note from Adoption Network Law Center
No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Texas. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.