Texas Laws Concerning Adoption
Who may adopt?
Any adult may petition to adopt a child
Who may place a child for adoption?
Birthparents and guardians may place a child directly. The Department of Public and Regulatory Services and duly licensed child-placing agencies facilitate agency placements.
Is birthparent counseling required?
No Texas statute requires birthparent counseling. By regulation, adoption agencies must meet in person with the birthparent(s) on two occasions prior to placement. When a birthparent cannot be located, an agency representative must document in writing the inability to locate the absent parent after diligent attempts, and must also document the reasons precluding the meetings.
May birthparents receive assistance with expenses?
Under Texas law, financial assistance is available for legal or medical services.
How much time does a birthparent have to change his or her mind after consenting to the termination of parental rights?
An affidavit of relinquishment that fails to state that it is irrevocable for a stated period of time may be revoked within 10 days of signing. A consent is revocable any time prior to issuance of a final adoption order.
How are putative father rights addressed?
Texas maintains a putative father registry. A putative father must register no later than the 31st day after birth of the child in order to preserve his right to notice of termination- and adoption-related proceedings. Any male having sexual relations with a female is on notice of the possibility of pregnancy and the need to register. A putative father who has initiated a paternity action prior to termination of parental rights is entitled to notice of termination- and adoption-related proceedings, regardless of whether he has filed with the registry.
When may the birthparent(s) relinquish custody and consent to adoption?
A birthparent relinquishment to an agency is not valid if provided sooner than 48 hours after birth of the child.