Adopting a child in Texas is an exciting moment for many couples. It represents the chance to expand their family, while also giving a child in need a home. Children up for adoption are there for a variety of circumstances, including birth mothers who have placed their child up for adoption without the biological father’s knowledge or consent.
However, given the laws in Texas and fathers’ rights, if you are seeking to adopt a child, it is best to work with an attorney in these circumstances because there are instances when the birth father must be informed, and/or a putative father may petition to claim paternity through the Texas putative father registry or by filing with the court. In addition, if you are a biological father whose child was placed up for adoption without your knowledge and/or consent, you will also need to work with a family law attorney in order to ensure that you exercise your rights in establishing paternity and your parenting rights.
General Adoption Laws in Texas
Texas very generally allows anyone to adopt in the state, with the exception of mandating that the child provide consent if they are 12 years or older. In addition, if the person seeking the adoption is married, unless they are a parent of the child, their spouse must also join in the adoption.
Consent & Biological Father’s Rights in Texas
In general, adoption requires the consent of both parents. Specifically, a biological father has the right to contest a birth mother’s decision to place a child up for adoption by first establishing paternity, then going to court to demonstrate his commitment to parenting the child. In general, if the biological father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate, he will automatically be recognized as the child’s father, and have the same rights as the biological mother.
Adopting without Biological Father’s Consent
If the biological father has abandoned or neglected the child, failed to pay child support, is unfit, etc., the consent of both birth parents prior to adoption is not always required. In general, if the child’s biological father is not on the birth certificate, has not registered with the putative registry, as not provided paternal support (financial, etc.), you can pursue an adoption without the birth father’s consent. There is also a six month statute of limitations in the state of Texas to challenge an adoption.
Texas Adoption & Father’s Rights Lawyers
When it comes to your decision to adopt a child, you want to ensure that it is done right for the safety and well-being of your family. Working with the right Texas adoption attorney is of paramount importance in this endeavor.