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Private adoptions in Texas

There are several types of adoptions possible in Texas, and each has slightly different regulations. Many adoptions are facilitated by state or international agencies. An adoption may also be a "private adoption," which is conducted directly by the birth parents. No agency is involved in a private adoption. This means that agencies cannot advertise available birth mothers to prospective parents. It is also not possible for a family attorney to advertise for a potential adoption.

Due to the nature of a private adoption, it is necessary that the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parent(s) meet. Thus, such an adoption cannot be confidential. In most cases, a private adoption is used to facilitate adoption by other family members, such as grandparents, but it can be used for non-family members as well.

Another important regulation regarding private adoptions is the payment of money. It is illegal to buy a child from a parent, which is why it is advisable to never give money to the birth parents directly. The adoptive parents can only provide for reasonable medical or legal expenses related to the health of the child or the adoption process. For example, money could be provided to medical professionals or attorneys to handle expenses related to the child.

Due to the lack of oversight of a private adoption compared to one facilitated through an agency, it is a good idea to have a legal professional ensure that a private adoption is legal and valid. An attorney can check adoption documents for completeness and accuracy and ensure that the adoption will not be voided due to a legal technicality. Source: Adoption Options, 'Private Adoptions," Texas Young Lawyers Association, Oct. 23, 2014.

Source: State Bar of Texas, "Pro Se Divorce Handbook", October 21, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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