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Adoption Requirements in Texas [A Primer]

Have you considered adoption? If you have, you’ve probably researched the requirements for adopting a child in Texas.

Adoption requirements in Texas are important because they protect adoptees while also preparing you for life as a potential adoptive parent. You may have questions about eligibility to adopt, such as:

  • Who can adopt a child in Texas, and who cannot?

  • What is required to adopt a child in Texas?

  • What are the Texas adoption training requirements that you must meet?

  • Do they drug test for adoption?

  • Do you have to be married to adopt?

  • At what age can you adopt a child in Texas?

To get answers to these questions, contact American Adoptions. At American Adoptions, we’re here to help you navigate the requirements for adopting a child in Texas. To speak with one of our experienced adoption specialists, you can get free online information here.

In the meantime, read on to learn what you should know about adoption requirements in Texas.

Learning About Adoption Requirements in Texas

Adoption provides a fulfilling path to family growth while opening your home to a child. One of your first steps in your adoption journey is defining your goals and adoption wishes. Your American Adoptions specialist will help you set your expectations for the adoption experience.

First, think about the steps in the adoption process. You may also decide which type of adoption best matches your family. The requirements to adopt a child in Texas differ in each case. Here are a few key factors to consider when starting your adoption journeys:

The answers to these questions will guide the initial steps in your adoption journey, and your American Adoptions specialist will be there to aid you as you go.

What are the general legal requirements to adopt a child in Texas?

The three primary types of child adoption in Texas are private domestic adoption, foster care adoption and international adoption. Each has its own particular requirements. That said, there are qualifications to adopt a child in Texas that apply regardless of type.

American Adoptions works specifically with private domestic adoption, so we’ll focus on those requirements here.

Is being married one of the criteria for adopting a child in Texas?

No. Texas law doesn’t require prospective adoptive parents to be married. Single or unmarried parents can adopt if they aren’t otherwise prohibited from adopting. Single parent adoption is permitted by the requirements to adopt a child in Texas, but that doesn’t mean that single parents are universally able to adopt.

Some private adoption agencies, like American Adoptions, consider marriage as one of the internal qualifications to adopt a child in Texas. Individual agencies may have other requirements pertaining to marriage. For example, an agency may prefer that the couple is married several years before adopting.

A common question about the criteria for adopting a child in Texas is whether same-sex couples can adopt. The answer is yes, same-sex couples in Texas can adopt. Same-sex adoption is now protected by federal law in every state thanks to the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking Obergefell decision.

However, individual agencies might not be supportive of same-sex adoptions. Make sure to consider this factor when selecting an adoption agency. American Adoptions welcomes same-sex couples who want to adopt.

Is there a minimum or maximum age in the Texas adoption requirements?

No, there is no legal requirement regarding the age of the prospective adoptive parent, so long as the parent is an adult. There isn’t a maximum or minimum age set by the requirements to adopt a child in Texas. However, that doesn’t mean adoption agencies in the state don’t consider the age of prospective adoptive parents when placing a child.

American Adoptions prefers that prospective adoptive parents be between 25 and 50. Exceptions are made in special circumstances, so speak with an adoption specialist about the details of your situation.

Can an 18-year-old adopt a baby in Texas? The answer is yes, at least in private domestic adoptions. But those adoptions aren’t common, and agencies can use judgment when deciding on placements for children.

Can a convicted felon adopt a child in Texas?

According to the adoption requirements in Texas,  a convicted felon can adopt a child in some situations. However, adoption eligibility depends on the type of felony you committed. Certain felony offenses can prevent prospective adoptive parents with criminal records from adopting.

Adoption requirements in Texas prohibit placement of a child with an adult (except a parent) who has been convicted of certain felony crimes such as violent crimes, domestic violence, abuse, neglect, or crimes against children.

Completion of an adoption home study is one of the qualifications to adopt a child in Texas. The home study includes a criminal background check in the interest of protecting the safety of the child.

If the home study background check reveals a record of violent crimes, domestic abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse or abandonment by anyone over the age of 14 in the household, you will not be allowed to adopt.

Prospective parents with felony convictions aren’t always prohibited from adopting under the Texas adoption requirements. Adoption professionals, social workers, and the courts can consider the details of each adoption situation. That said, prospective parents with felonies may face more obstacles to adopting.

Are there other adoption requirements in Texas?

Texas adoption requirements set some standards for adoptive family eligibility. But you should also know other things about adoption that may be considered beyond the official criteria for adopting a child in Texas.

Adoption agencies seek to place children in safe, loving homes that will offer bright futures full of opportunities. That’s why there are additional criteria not defined by the law that may be considered during the adoption process.

Health Considerations

Though not part of the adoption requirements in Texas, your health is an important consideration when adopting. Raising a child can be physically rigorous. Your health plays a role in the quality of life an adoptee will experience in your family.

The adoption home study portion of the requirements for adoption in Texas includes a medical records review. Adoption professionals want to know you’re in good health, as that will contribute to the stability of your home. Also, Texas law prohibits discrimination against prospective adoptive parents who may have physical disabilities.

Financial Considerations

Texas adoption requirements don’t set financial criteria for adopting a child in Texas. However, your available financial resources may be considered by adoption professionals.

The cost associated with adoption can vary widely from case to case. There’s also the ongoing cost of providing for the needs of a child. Wealth isn’t required for you to adopt, but you should be able to afford the costs of raising a child, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

If you’re between jobs, you may have wondered if you must be employed to adopt a child. The answer is no. It’s unusual for potential adoptive parents to be disqualified on financial grounds. If you can meet your family’s financial obligations, you are eligible to adopt.

Emotional Considerations

The goal of our adoption specialists is to place children in stable and loving homes where they will be loved and nurtured. As a result, the emotional environment of your adoptive home must be considered.

Though not part of the legal requirements for adoption in Texas, you and your adoption specialist should ensure you’re ready for the emotional aspect of adoption. To assess your emotional preparedness to adopt, try considering the following:

  • Address past disappointments with infertility or miscarriage: Don’t let past experiences color your future when adopting. If you’ve experienced miscarriages or infertility, try to process your emotions and reach a healthy place with your grief. This process can take years, and it’s okay to take your time.

  • Understand the adoption process: Comprehending the legal requirements for adoption in Texas is important. It’s also important to understand the emotions you may experience during your adoption journey. Join a support group and consult your adoption specialist when setting your expectations. Remember, we’re here to help.

  • Communicate with your spouse: Adoption is a monumental responsibility. If you’re married, make sure you and your spouse are both fully invested. Communicate honestly and vocalize any concerns. When you adopt, move forward together.

  • Accept the responsibility: Everyone in your family needs to comprehend the responsibility that comes with adoption. It’s a lifetime commitment, and everyone involved must be on board. Speak openly with one another and don’t move forward until everyone is prepared to open your home.

Parting Thoughts

Adoption provides a rewarding path to family expansion, and it opens your home to a waiting child. The child’s safety and well-being are the guiding principles throughout the process. After all, that’s why the Texas adoption requirements were created.

Understanding adoption requirements in Texas takes individual research and counseling from adoption professionals. At American Adoptions, our staff can help you wade through the process and grasp your role in it. We’ll be there for you along the way, as your success is our success.

To learn more about who can adopt in Texas and what will be required as you navigate your adoption journey, get free information here.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.