Many couples reach a point in their relationship where they want to add children to their families. For same-sex couples, this is often done through adoption. Same-sex couples may be apprehensive about embarking on the adoption process due to concerns regarding potential obstacles. While adoption is a complex process, same-sex couples are afforded the same rights as opposite-sex couples under Texas law, and anyone interested in same-sex adoption should speak to an attorney. If you are part of a same-sex couple and you want to adopt a child, it is smart to contact an attorney to discuss your rights. At McClure Law Group, our trusted Dallas adoption attorneys are mindful of the emotional and legal significance of adoption, and we can help you complete the process as efficiently as possible.Texas Law Regarding Same-Sex Adoption
The Texas Family Code does not expressly address same-sex adoption. Rather, it merely sets forth the guidelines for adoption, in general. Thus, there are no statutory prohibitions or limitations regarding same-sex adoption. Similarly, the Texas courts have not issued case law prohibiting same-sex adoption. That does not mean that same-sex couples who wish to adopt do not face challenges, however. For example, while the Texas legislature has not barred same-sex adoption, it did pass a law permitting adoption groups and foster agencies to deny adoption applications on the basis of sexuality. As such, it can be more complicated for same-sex parents to find adoption agencies in Texas that are willing to work with them.The Same-Sex Adoption Process
Broadly speaking, the process of completing an adoption in Texas is the same regardless of whether the parents are a same-sex or opposite-sex couple. The Texas Family Code dictates that any adult can petition to adopt any adoptable child. For example, children whose parents are deceased or whose rights have been terminated may be adopted. The adoption process usually begins with the filing of a petition for adoption. Children that are twelve or older have to consent to their adoption, and additional steps may be necessary if any party currently has parental rights pertaining to the child.
Once the petition has been filed, an evaluation will take place, during which an independent party will collect information about the parties and make a recommendation to the court regarding whether the adoption should proceed. As a part of the evaluation, the independent party will interview the prospective parents and the child, if the child is old enough; look at the home environment; and assess how the child reacts in the environment. The evaluator will also examine how the parents interact with one another and anyone else in the house and check the criminal history of all people in the household.
In most cases, the courts will not finalize an adoption until the child has lived with the prospective parents for a minimum of six months. In some instances, though, this requirement may be waived as long as the court finds that it would be in the child’s best interest. Ultimately, the court will decide whether to grant an adoption based on whether it is in the best interest of the child, after considering numerous factors, like the child’s needs, the age and health of the parents, and their financial resources.Confer With a Capable Dallas Lawyer
Same-sex couples often want to expand their families through adoption, and, under Texas law, they have the right to do so. If you are interested in same-sex adoption, you should confer with an attorney to evaluate your options. The capable Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group can aid you throughout the adoption process and help you to safeguard your interests. We represent parties in adoption proceedings in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, and Garland. We also help people with family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can reach us via our online form or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.