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What is the procedure for adoption in Texas?

In Texas, as well as everywhere else in the United States, adoption is a blessing to a couple that is unable to have children. Adoption follows a two-step process. In the first step, the Texas courts eliminate the parental rights of the biological parents. In the second step, the courts formalize the adoption process by giving its stamp of approval.

Once the court terminates the parental rights of the biological parents, their responsibilities are also terminated. Then the child can be adopted. The termination order is regarded as final. It cannot be changed under normal circumstances. The termination of the rights of the biological parents occurs with both parents' agreement, or by a court finding that termination of one or both parent's rights is in the best interest of the child.

Before the court can terminate the rights of the biological parents, the parents must sign a Relinquishment of Rights form. The form indicates that the biological parents are willing to give up their child for adoption. The parents must sign the form willingly at least two days after the child is born. Once signed, the relinquishment form cannot be revoked for two months, during which time the Texas court will decide if the parental rights can be terminated.

The court terminates parental rights only if it finds termination to be in the best interest of the child. A court-appointed attorney, known as an Amicus Attorney, will conduct an investigation to show if termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child. An involuntary termination is granted when the parent does not participate in the child's life or has not supported the child financially. In that case, it is clear to the court that the biological parent should not raise the child.

Source: TYLA.org, "What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court," Accessed on May 1, 2015

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