Adoptions in Texas
Adopting a child into a forever family is a special and rewarding experience. The need for loving and stable homes is ongoing in Denton County and throughout Texas. In 2017, nearly 6000 children in the Texas foster care system were waiting to be adopted.
The Wright Firm, L.L.P.’s team of attorneys specialize in family law and the adoption process in Texas, and are up to date on continuously changing adoption laws.
Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption in Denton County
We understand that adoption is a complex process. Getting the answers to your questions is an important step in that process. Let us help guide you through the complexities of common adoption questions.
What are the requirements to adopt in Texas?
According to the Department of Family and Protective Services, one must meet the following requirements to become an adoptive parent:
- Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and a responsible mature adult;
- Complete an application;
- Share information regarding his or her background and lifestyle;
- Provide relative and non-relative references;
- Show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable);
- Agree to a home study, which includes visits with all household members;
- Allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household; and
- Attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children.
What types of adoptions are available in the State of Texas?
Most adoptions fall under two categories: private/independent and agency adoptions. Independent adoptions typically are coordinated directly between the adoptive parents and the birth mother. Nearly 50% of newborn adoptions fall into this category.
Other adoptions, known as agency adoptions, are coordinated through a public agency. The public agency coordinates the parental rights of the adoptive parents and birth mother. Oftentimes, children placed in foster care that enter into adoption will fall into this category of adoptions.
What is the process for adoption?
The process can vary depending on the agency you choose and the type of adoption you pursue. However, most adoptions follow the steps below in some aspect:
- After choosing the agency you want to work with, a home visit will be conducted to ensure your home is fit for adoption.
- You will be matched with a child to adopt if you are not already caring for the child.
- You will complete the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) paperwork with the help of an attorney.
- You will complete a series of post-placement visits with the agency. The State of Texas requires that a home visit/interview occur at least once after the child has lived with you for at least five months.
- The court will hold a finalization hearing where the adoption will be made official. The Texas Family Code states that an adoption cannot be finalized until the child has been in the custody of the adoptive parents for at least six months.
Does the State of Texas allow LGBT couples to adopt?
The State of Texas allows adoption by singles, older citizens, and any adult meeting the State’s requirements as outlined above. The State gives the option to adoption agencies to deny placement of children into homes that conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs through the Freedom to Serve Children Act. If an adoption is denied, the agency is required by law to refer the applicant to another agency that may be able to accommodate them.
Can Texas children be adopted outside of the country?
Typically, children residing in Texas cannot be placed for adoption outside of the United States.
Am I too old to adopt?
No, there is no age limit to adopt in the State of Texas.
Contact the experienced attorneys at The Wright Firm, L.L.P., today for a consultation on your adoption case in Denton County or surrounding areas. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.