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What is the law for stepparent adoption in Texas?

One of the most difficult situations to navigate in Texas family law has to do with children. Adoption of a child can be contentious and there is great foundation for dispute. There are certain state laws in place to protect children and parents as well as to make certain that the person trying to complete the adoption has the right to do so. Before moving forward with a petition of adoption, it is imperative to understand the law.

In order for a child in Texas to be adopted the following conditions must be in place -- the parent-child relationship with the living parent must have been terminated or there must have been a suit to terminate it linked to the suit to adopt, the parent who still has rights to the child must be the current spouse of the person petitioning for adoption and the petition is so the stepparent can adopt, the child must be at least 2-years-old, the relationship with one parent has been terminated and the person who would like to adopt is the former stepparent of the child and has cared for, possessed, controlled or been a managing conservator of the child for at least one year before the adoption.

It is also possible to adopt if consent has not be received from the biological parent of the child. This will be the case if there is an affidavit to relinquish parental rights has been consented to for the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services or a licensed child agency to place the child up for adoption and the agency or department has been named the child's conservator. All rights will be terminated for the parent who has been subject to this type of intervention and the adoption can move forward.

A complicated aspect of family law has to do with a stepparent who would like to adopt a child if the biological parent or parents are still alive. This can result in a significant and damaging dispute. With this and all family legal issues, one of the keys is to have experienced legal assistance. When trying to move forward with an adoption, the first call that should be made is to a qualified legal professional.

Source:, "Sec. 162.001. Who May Adopt And Be Adopted.," accessed on Sept. 15, 2015

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