Adoption: What is required to adopt a child in Texas?
Adoption is defined as a procedure that establishes a parent-child relationship between a child and adopting parents. In Texas, any adult, single or married, can petition to adopt a child who may be adopted.
So, who may be adopted? Here, any child who is living in Texas when a petition is filed, and who meets one of the following stipulations is considered eligible for adoption.
•1. The child's parents are no longer living and/or the parent-child relationship between the child and each living parent has been terminated;
•2. a stepparent is petitioning to adopt their spouse's child/children and the parent-child relationship between the child's other parent has been terminated;
•3. the former stepparent of a child who is at least two years old has been caring for the child for six months, the parent/child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent, and the other parent consents to the adoption; or
•4. the person seeking the adoption of a child who is at least two years old is the child's former stepparent, the parent/child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent, and the former stepparent has been caring for the child for at least one year preceding the adoption.
In general, a child who is to be adopted must have been living with the person who is petitioning for at least six months before the adoption is legally granted. While this six month “trial” period is technically required, Texas courts have been known to waive or shorten the period if doing so is deemed to be in the best interest of the child.
In all honesty, adopting a child can be a difficult process. Unfortunately, many potential adoptive parents are frightened or intimidated by the amount of time and attention to detail that is necessary to adopt a child.