Second-Parent Adoption

Adoption by same-sex couples (sometimes also called second-parent adoption) is an option in Texas. Even though Texas now authorizes same-sex couples to marry, adoption in Texas is still important to protect the parental rights of the non-biological parent.

Frequently ask questions about second-parent adoption:

Why is a legal adoption important?

A legal adoption enables you to have the same rights and responsibilities with respect to the child as a biological parent. This protects your relationship to the child as well as the child’s relationship to you.

My spouse and I are married.  Must we still go through the adoption process?

It is recommended that the non-biological parent adopt in order to protect her parental rights even if you are married. Learn more about marriage equality and adoption in Texas.

Is same-sex adoption legal in Texas?

Yes, same-sex couples can adopt in Texas. However, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced with adoption by same-sex couples.

What is second-parent adoption?

The term is often used interchangeably with same-sex adoption or adoption by a same-sex couple, but the process is similar to an adoption by a step-parent.

How long does the adoption process take?

The amount of time it takes depends on your circumstances, but it can take as little as a few months to complete the adoption process.

Do I have to do a background check?

Yes, both parents (biological and non-biological parent) must undergo various background checks.

What is a home study? Who does the home study?

Texas requires some prospective parents to participate in a home screening prior to adopting. The purpose of the screening is to gather information about the applicants in order to determine if the family is fit and ready for the adoption. The study usually evaluates the prospective parent’s family history, health, financial situation, and home environment. The home study does include a home visit. Following the home study, the evaluator will develop a report on her findings, which includes a recommendation on whether the study participant(s) should adopt.

In Travis County, the home study provider must be selected from the court’s list of qualified practitioners.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies depending on your circumstances. If you are interested in adopting and would like more information about the process, including costs, please contact me.

Are tax credits available for adoption expenses?

Yes, it is possible to obtain an adoption credit for expenses, including court costs and attorney fees, related to the adoption.

How do I find out more information?

Contact me. I would be happy to answer your questions about the adoption process. There is no charge for the initial consultation.