Texas Adoption Laws and Policies

You have many adoption options, and this is the perfect place to begin exploring them. Below, you’ll find Texas adoption laws and policies and find adoption agencies and attorneys who work with families in Texas.

A sporting event with a Texas flag in the background, governed by Texas adoption laws

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.

See all Texas adoption agencies >

See all Texas adoption attorneys >



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

Janine Easton
(832) 387-8854
[email protected]

Texas Adoption Unit

Division Administrator of Foster Homes and Adoptions: Cristina R. Guerrero
Adoption Program Specialist: Stephanie A. Holmes

701 West 51 Street
Austin, Texas 78751
Phone: (512) 438-3403
Fax: (512) 339-5927
[email protected]


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but Adoptive Families cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.


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