Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families in different states. As a Texas resident, you’ll want to work with an adoption agency or adoption attorney who is very familiar with Texas adoption laws and policies. Below, learn all about the legal guidelines for families adopting in Texas whether you’re adopting a newborn through domestic adoption, an infant or older child from U.S. foster care adoption, or a child through international adoption.
You’ll also find links to adoption agencies and adoption lawyers offering services to Texas families.
TEXAS ADOPTION LAWS & STATUTES
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? No, only licensed child-placing agencies can “match” prospective adoptive parents with an expectant mother.
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? No.
Texas International Adoption Laws
Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Texas has made provision for having foreign adoption decrees recognized, but adopting parents must go through the courts.
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 Open Records Statutes
Is there an adoption registry? Yes, the Texas Department of State Health Services maintains a Central Adoption Registry.
Who may access information about an adoption? Adoptees age 18 or older, birth parents, alleged fathers who acknowledge paternity, and birth siblings age 18 or older may register for the exchange of identifying information. Adoptive parents and adoptees age 18 or older may request nonidentifying and medical information.
Who may apply for an adoptee’s original birth certificate (OBC)? Adoptees age 18 or older who can identify the name of each parent listed on the original birth certificate.
Texas Licensing Office Contacts
Texas Adoption Unit
Division Administrator of Foster Homes and Adoptions: Cristina R. Guerrero
Adoption Program Specialist: Stephanie A. Holmes
Austin, Texas 78751
Phone: (512) 438-3403
Fax: (512) 339-5927
[email protected] http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/About_Adoption/