What Are The Criteria For Potential Adopting Parents That Must Be Met In Hunt, Fannin, and Rockwall Counties?
The Texas Family Code is the primary body of law that governs what is necessary to consummate an adoption in Texas. Thankfully, it’s one area of the law that the legislature has set out very clearly in Chapter 162 of the Texas Family Code. There you will find a straightforward list of requirements for adoptive parents. Once an adoption attorney has helped you determine that you have a child, or even adult, that is eligible for adoption, you will need to meet the statutory requirements to consummate the adoption.
The first requirement is to have an adoption evaluation. The social worker in an adoption case is the person who prepares the evaluation, which is also often times referred to as a home study. An adoptive home study can be performed by a number of private providers throughout the state who visit the home, talk to the individuals who reside in the home about the prospective adoption and their desire to adopt, and interview any adult children of the prospective adoptive parents to get a feel for how they have parented in the past. It provides an opportunity to talk to family members and friends on how the family operates. The social worker will also draft a written report that includes a summary of her findings, the CPS and criminal history checks, and her recommendation about whether the prospective adoptive parents should be allowed to pursue an adoption. The report has to be filed with the court prior to completing any adoption in Texas.
As part of the evaluation, and as required by statute, any prospective adoptive parent must also complete a criminal history background check, which is done through FBI fingerprinting. The background checks are available at a number of private service providers throughout the state. The FBI criminal history background check provides the social worker documented evidence pertaining to the family’s criminal history. It’s important to note that there are no stipulations in the Family Code about what is and is not acceptable criminal history. That is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Some criminal history doesn’t bar a person from adopting. It just gives the social worker in the case the opportunity to look at the criminal history. The other information that the social worker will want to review is a CPS history check. A CPS history check will show whether the prospective adoptive parents are included on any sort of central registry for abuse or neglect. Have they been a perpetrator of abuse or neglect against a child in the past? Again, there are no specifics that say you are not allowed to adopt in Texas because you have CPS history. The point is to give the social worker reviewing the case the opportunity to see what the history is, ask questions, and determine whether anything needs to be put in place to ensure that the adoptee is safe and protected.
The fourth major requirement in Texas is to have an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) affidavit. The ICPC laws are a convoluted and often misunderstood area of the law. However, it governs the placement of children in between states. For example, if you are adopting a child who was born in Texas and you live in Texas, the ICPC doesn’t apply. A simple affidavit stating that fact is filed with the court. If the child is born in another state, and you are adopting in Texas or vice versa, the ICPC applies. It is a detailed process that has to be completed before the adoption can be finalized. In all cases an affidavit stating whether ICPC applies or has been complied with has to be included before the adoption is completed.
The final major requirement for adoption is the completion of the Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History Report. This report provides information to the adoptive family about the related history from the child’s biological family. It is required in most non-relative adoptions. The report is filed with the appropriate party and maintained there for 99 years under the law!
Once you have met all the legal requirements for filing a petition for adoption, you are ready to realize your adoption with a final decree of adoption. After the entry of a final decree of adoption, the adoptive parents can have a new birth certificate is issued with the adoptive parents listed as the birth parents for the child.
For more information on the Criteria For Adoptive Parents In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (903) 964-1122 today.