Making the decision to adopt a child can be one of the happiest and most rewarding times in a person’s life. While there are steps to be taken in between making the decision to adopt and giving your child a new home, the attorneys at The Law Office of Ilana R. Tanner are here to guide prospective parents along their adoption path.
Adoption Requirements in Texas
The Texas Family Code, Title 5, Chapter 162 outlines the various requirements taken into account when determining if prospective parents are appropriate candidates for adoption, including:
- Being at least 21 years of age
- Being financially stable
- Being responsible adults
- Completing an adoption application
- Including any information regarding background and lifestyle
- Providing relative and non-relative references
- Providing proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable)
- Undergoing a home study which includes visits with all household members
- Completing a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household
- Attending free training to learn about the issues of abused and neglected children
In Texas, in the event an infant is placed in a home, the adoption process cannot be completed nor a final order of adoption issued until the child is at least two years of age. No child adoption at any age is final and valid until the child has lived in the adoptive parent’s home for at least six months.
Common Adoption Scenarios
There are many different family situations across Texas and around the country. Because each family unit is unique, common scenarios where adoptions are contemplated can include:
- Stepparent adoption: One of the most common types of adoption is stepparent adoption. This occurs when a stepparent adopts a stepchild.
- International adoption: Russia, China, Ethiopia, South Korea, and the Ukraine are some of the most popular home counties of internationally adopted children to the U.S.
- Interstate adoption: Adopting a child from a state other than Texas may require prospective parents to adhere the adoption laws of more than one state.
- Foster child adoption: Usually handled by local public agencies, children in foster care are under the custody of the state unless and until their foster parents or another relative adopts them.
- Infant/private adoption: When adding a newborn to your family, the birth mother typically has hand-selected the adoptive parents or the prospective parents will need to find a birth mother willing to place her child for adoption.
- Relative adoption: Adopting a relative can include adopting a grandchild, niece, or nephew as your own child.
- Special needs adoption: Adoption of a child with special needs is typically more complex and comes with a separate set of requirements. These requirements include the child being at least six years old and having a verifiable physical, mental, or emotional disabling condition as established by an appropriately qualified professional through a diagnosis that appropriately addresses what the condition is, and determines that the condition is disabling.
- Same–sex adoption: Same-sex couples looking to adopt can involve the use of surrogacy contracts and an adoption process for the non-biological parent.
Austin, Texas Child Adoption Attorneys
Adoption is a wonderful option for parents and children alike. During the adoption process, it is important to have a Texas family law attorney who can guide you and ensure your adoption is attended to accurately and with care.
At The Law Office of Ilana R. Tanner, we strive to eliminate stress and worry by taking care of all of your family law legal matters and handling any complications that may arise along the way. If you are adopting a child into your family, contact the Austin adoption attorneys at The Law Office of Ilana R. Tanner today to discuss your needs. We are eager to assist you during this incredibly exciting time.