Texas Adoption

Texas Adoption Laws

Adopting Stepchildren in Texas


Question: How can my new husband adopt my children, his step-children?

Answer: To accomplish an adoption of stepchildren, your husband must file suit and give notice to the father of the child. It is possible that the father would be agreeable, and if he is, he can sign an affidavit to that effect. The judge may decide that an attorney should be appointed to represent the child (attorney ad litem) in a step-parent adoption circumstance. If so, you can expect to pay that attorney as well.

Question: How can my new wife adopt my children, her stepchildren?

Answer: To accomplish an adoption of stepchildren, your wife must file suit and give notice to the mother of the child. It is possible that the father would be agreeable, and if he is, he can sign an affidavit to that effect. The judge may decide that an attorney should be appointed to represent the child (attorney ad litem) in a step-parent adoption circumstance. If so, you can expect to pay that attorney as well.

Question: How do I obtain copies of adoption records?

Answer: When you know the county where the adoption took place, it is a simple matter to unseal the records and get a certified copy of the records. In fact, exploring your medical history is one of the best reasons to unseal adoption records. Then there is an order allowing the unsealing of the records that must be obtained. Usually, unsealing the adoption record and obtaining copies of the records take less than a few days.

Question: Is it legal for adoptive parents to provide financial assistance to the birth mothers?

Answer: It is legal to provide financial assistance to a birth mother in a private adoption in the State of Texas, but that financial assistance must pass through a licensed adoption agency.

Furthermore, not all financial assistance is legally acceptable to be provided to the mother. Generally, only monies that are ‘fair and necessary’ may be provided to the birth mother by the adoptive parents. These often include rent, utilities, food, and maternity clothing. They do not include payment of a vehicle note or vehicle insurance.

If the financial assistance is found to be unreasonable the adoptive parents could risk prosecution for purchasing a child.

Question: Can I legally marry my adopted child?

Answer: Under Texas Family Code section 2.004, a parent cannot marry a child that they have previously adopted.

Question: Can I adopt my step son? His biological mother has not seen or spoken to him in a number of years and she pays no child support.

Answer: To accomplish an adoption, you must give notice to the mother of the child. It is possible that the mother would be agreeable, and if she is, she can sign an affidavit to that effect. It depends on the judge concerning whether an attorney would be appointed to represent the child, an attorney ad litem, in a step-parent circumstance. If so, you can expect to pay that attorney as well. Some judges don’t require an attorney ad litem in a step-parent scenario.

Question: I have adopted my stepchild. If I now divorce the other parent, could I be obligated to support the child?

Answer: Yes. The law makes no distinction between biological obligation to support the child versus the adoptive parent having the same obligation. You accomplished an adoption, which created a parent-child relationship between you and the child, and presumably terminating the biological parent’s rights. Consequently you have a duty to support your child.

Question: How does a stepfather begin the adoption process for a stepchild?

Answer: To accomplish an adoption, the parent who has custody of the child must file suit and give notice to the other parent of the child. It is possible that the father would be agreeable to the adoption of the child, and if he is, he can sign an affidavit to that effect. It depends on the judge concerning whether an attorney would be appointed to represent the child, an attorney ad litem, in a step-parent circumstance. If so, you can expect to pay that attorney as well, if that is required by the court.. Some judges don’t require an attorney ad litem in a step-parent scenario.

Question: Can a same sex couple adopt a child?

Answer: To accomplish an adoption, you and your partner may need to marry. Then you and the partner must file suit for an adoption and give notice to the father of the child. It sounds likely that the father would be agreeable, and if he is, he can sign an affidavit to that effect. It depends on the judge concerning whether an attorney would be appointed to represent the child, an attorney ad litem, but should be expected in this circumstance. If so, you can expect to pay that attorney as well. Additionally, the Court may and probably will require an adoption social study be completed, which includes an another fee. My initial retainer for an adoption would $2500.00 plus the filing fees.
Please contact me at the number below since this is a Dallas County area matter. We should probably set up an appointment to further discuss the situation. An initial 30 minute consultation is $100.00.