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What are the qualifications for adoption?

In Texas, a parent wishing to adopt a child must meet certain guidelines and follow certain regulations. The specifications vary depending on the current relationship between the child and the person wishing to adopt. Most adoptions are complex and may take several months or longer to complete. The court always acts in the best interests of the child to be adopted and works to ensure that the adoptive parent or family is a good fit for the child.

One of the most important perquisites for an adoption is the termination of the parental rights of the biological parents. This is most important for those wishing to adopt a child who is not blood related to them. A good example of this is wishing to adopt a child currently in the foster care system.

The termination of parental rights is not necessary if the person wishing to adopt is married to the current parent as in a step-parent situation. If a married couple is adopting, then they must both be on the adoption petition and will both be considered adoptive parents. If requirements for the petition are accepted, then the individual or couple wishing to adopt must usually undergo a home study process through a qualified agency. The home study, or social study, ensures that the adoptive parent's home environment is suitable for the child's needs.

Ensuring the termination of parental rights is often one of the most complex parts of adoption. It is common for one parent's rights to be terminated but not the other's. For example, a mother's rights may have been terminated when the child entered care, but the father was absent at the time and retained rights. The adoptive parents in such a case would have to seek termination of the father's parental rights before being able to adopt. Those looking to adopt may wish to seek the assistance of a lawyer in filing the necessary paperwork and making sure the proper qualifications are met.

Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, "Chapter 162. Adoption", October 01, 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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