Texas adoption laws


WHO CAN ADOPT IN TEXAS?

Any adult may adopt.

Can LGBT families adopt? Not addressed in state statutes.

TEXAS DOMESTIC ADOPTION LAWS

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? No.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, but only an authorized child-placing agency, an attorney, social worker, mental health professional, or physician who provides adoption services can act as an intermediary.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Private: medical, legal, and counseling. Agency: medical, legal, counseling, living expenses (rent, clothing, food, gas). No reimbursement for expenses paid or incurred prior to contact with agency. 6 weeks postpartum. No reimbursement if adoption fails.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Required termination of parental rights, rather than consent.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Private: Relinquishment revocable for 10 days, or irrevocable for up to 60 days after signing. If properly revoked during appropriate time, return is likely. Agency: after signing.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, but the party requesting enforcement must provide proof that there was an attempt to resolve the issues through mediation.

TEXAS INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION LAWS

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, unless the adoption decree violates fundamental human rights or Texas law.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, but whether or not it’s mandatory is not addressed in the state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a U.S. birth certificate if the court finds that the foreign adoption decree meets the state requirements.

ADOPTION FROM FOSTER CARE IN TEXAS

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 6 years or older, 2 years or older if member of a hard-to-place racial or ethnic group, member of sibling group (or joining an already-placed sibling in the same household), or has a professionally diagnosed physical, mental, or emotional condition. In addition, the child must be 18 years or younger and in the custody of the state. Starts the month after adoption placement.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Texas? http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/I_Am/foster-adopt.asp

TEXAS ADOPTION UNIT

701 West 51st Street, MC E-558, PO Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714
(512) 438-4760
debra.emerson@dfps.state.tx.us
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/I_Am/foster-adopt.asp