Anytime an adult wants to adopt a child, the judge confirms three things before finalizing the adoption.
1) Are the prospective parents at least 21 years old and are US citizens or permanent residents?
2) Do the parents make enough money to provide necessities for the child, like food, water, and shelter?
3) Are the prospective parents mentally well enough to take care of a child?
Many judges will ensure the child goes to a loving and caring home, no matter sexual orientation. While same-sex adoption is legal in Texas, some judges will question whether or not it is in the interest of the child, which could lead to discrimination that’s justified within Texas courts. Texas LGBTQ Family Law can help couples, or single parents, find judges who will evaluate families fairly. For those who do go to court with a fair judge and case, there are many considerations and steps to take before finalizing an adoption.
Texas law states that the birth mother is the official parent of the child along with the biological father if he chooses to be involved. Depending on if same-sex couples are using surrogates or donors, all parties must fill out paperwork stating either the birth mother or sperm donor relinquishes parental rights for the adoptive parties. Single-parent adoption is legal as well, so that is also a factor within that paperwork too.
If two males wants to adopt, they would go through a gestational surrogacy. When the child is born the mother will sign a document transferring parental rights, and both males can put their name on the child’s birth certificate as either “father” and “father” or “parent”. The same goes with women in a same-sex marriage who use a sperm donor when the male is involved.
If a single-parent chooses to adopt, the surrogate or donor can choose to take part in the child’s life. Otherwise, they’d need to sign 100% of parental rights over to the adoptive parent. Another problem that can arise is if a person was in a previous marriage and is now in a different relationship. If the new parent wants to have custody and full parental rights, they need to go through a second-parent adoption stating they will become one of the official parents of the child. That way custody won’t be an issue for the adoptive parents.