The Keys to a Successful Stepparent Adoption in Texas

Parent and a child hands

When you’ve been through a divorce with minor children and you’ve remarried, there can be a lot of benefits to having your new spouse legally adopt your children. It can allow your new spouse to obtain job-related benefits for your child and can allow your new spouse to make medical, educational and other important decisions in your absence. It can also create a healthy and positive relationship between your child and his or her stepparent.

The Stepparent Adoption Process in Texas

To successfully complete a stepparent adoption in Texas, you must:

  • File a petition with the local family court seeking to adopt the stepchild
  • Obtain the termination of the biological parent’s rights – this can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. If the non-custodial parent agrees, the process moves forward. If not, you will need to seek the permission and authority of the court to terminate parental rights. The court will typically only do so if it considers the termination to be in the best interests of the minor child.
  • Have a social study done – Once parental rights have been terminated, a “social study” must be completed, involving a visit to the home, evaluation of employment and finances, observations of parenting skills and relationship, and an initial screening to determine parenting fitness.
  • Obtain the opinion of an Amicus Attorney – The court will appoint an Amicus Attorney who will determine if the stepparent adoption is in the best interests of the child and the family. The Amicus Attorney then presents an opinion to the court.

Keys to Success

To ensure the best chance of successfully completing a stepparent adoption, you should:

  • Identify and address any potential issues up front – Will the biological parent consent to the adoption? Is the child of an age that he or she will need to consent to the adoption? Has the adopting stepparent met the legal requirements in Texas to adopt?
  • Educate yourself about the process – Know in advance what paperwork will be involved, how long it will take, what background checks are necessary and what court proceedings need to take place
  • Understand that it’s a legally significant event – Don’t assume that a stepparent adoption is simply putting your existing arrangement in writing. It’s a big deal for everyone involved, so take it seriously.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates

For experienced counsel in family law matters, contact our office online or call us at 972-445-1500 (toll free at 877-613-5800). Your first consultation is free of charge.

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Len Conner & Associates

600 John Carpenter Freeway,
Ste 238
Irving, Texas 75062

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Phone: 972-445-1500

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