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Adopting a Child in Texas

Texas laws are broad concerning the adoption of a child. Many issues related to adoption, however, can be complicated. Prospective parents who are thinking of adopting must remember that there are certain procedural requirements that must be met in order to finalize the adoption. In some cases, families choose to adopt children outside the United States. When a family returns to the United States with a child who was adopted in another country, there are even further steps that must be taken. International adoption law, United States law, and Texas law all come into play in these situations. This article will specifically examine the various regulations and important pieces of advice that prospective parents must be aware of when adopting a child.

Concerns When Adopting a Child Who Is a Resident of Texas

There are some finer points of adopting a child who is a resident of Texas of which many adults are not aware. This section will contain some unique elements of adopting a child who is a resident of Texas.

  • Children Over Twelve Years of Age. With a few exceptions, children who are over twelve years of age must consent to the adoption. Similar standards do not exist for children who are younger than twelve years old. If a court determines that an adoption is in the child’s best interest and the child who is twelve years of age or older does not consent to the adoption, the court may waive this requirement.
  • If The Prospective Parent Is Married. If the person petitioning for adoption is married then both spouses must join the adoption petition.
  • Six Month Requirement. The children who are up for adoption must live with the prospective parent for at least six months before the court will grant an adoption. With adequate information, some courts in Texas waive this requirement.
  • Military Members. Texas courts decline to consider a person’s military service as a factor that negatively impacts a potential adoption.

Concerns When Adopting a Foreign Child

It is necessary to touch on just some of the most important issues that parents must consider when adopting children from other countries and bringing the child back into the United States.

  • Avoid Documentation Issues. Ensure that your child has proper documentation when performing such activities as enrolling in school, obtaining a driver’s license, applying for employment, and registering for college.
  • Immigration Issues. Parents will need to file additional paperwork with United States immigration officials based on the type of visa the child had when entering the United States and the exact time when the child entered the country.
  • Texas Court Reaffirm Foreign Adoption. While there are some cases where it might not be necessary, it always a wise to have a foreign adoption reaffirmed in Texas. Failing to pursue these matters can result in a child being classified “undocumented” when the child reaches the age of eighteen. A judge will sign the order, at which point a Texas birth certificate with the child’s and parent’s names is available.

Adoption is a complicated process that can be bewildering without the aid of a top notch family law lawyer. At Conner & Lindamood, P.C., our Houston lawyers have a great deal of experience being involved in cases involving adoptions and obtaining favorable results for prospective parents.

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