Adoption by same-sex couples (also called second parent adoption) is an option in Texas; however, because the state does not allow same-sex couples to legally marry and there is no law explicitly authorizing same-sex couples to adopt in Texas, it should be approached carefully.
A second-parent adoption occurs when a second person in an unmarried couple adopts a child. While this term is often used interchangeably with same-sex adoption in Texas or adoption by a same-sex couple, the process is similar to an adoption by a step-parent. If and when marriage does become legal in Texas, until Texas law provides otherwise, married same-sex couples will still need to assure legal recognition for both parents through adoption. A legal adoption enables the adopting parent to have the same rights and responsibilities with respect to the child as a biological parent. This protects each parent’s relationship to the child as well as the child’s relationship to the parent.
Before an adoption can be complete, both parents must undergo an FBI background check. In addition, Texas requires prospective parents to participate in a pre-adoptive home screening. 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 also includes a home visit. When it’s complete, the evaluator will draft a report of her findings, which includes a recommendation on whether the prospective parent should adopt.
It is possible to obtain an adoption tax credit for expenses, including court costs and attorney fees, related to the adoption.
For more information, contact me. I would be happy to answer your questions about the adoption process.