What Are The Legal Benefits To Stepparent Adoption In Texas?
Stepparent adoption in Texas can have a lot of legal benefits. For instance, it is pragmatic to consider the possibility of what happens if the biological parent in the relationship passes away or can no longer care for the child. If the stepparent doesn’t have any legal rights to a child, and the biological parent in the marriage passes away, the child doesn’t automatically become the stepparent’s child. You have to go through the legal process to allow the stepparent legal rights to the child. You certainly want to have your spouse’s consent and involvement in the process. And in turn, the stepparent can feel confident knowing that the child is no longer a stepchild, but their own child.
Another legal benefit to a stepparent adoption is when the biological parent becomes unable to parent. If the biological parent begins to make bad choices, such as getting into trouble with domestic violence or drug use, the stepparent doesn’t have any legal standing to protect the child. The same applies if the biological family comes around and wants access to the child. Again, the stepparent doesn’t have any legal standing to protect the child. Therefore, it is important that the stepparent pursues either a stepparent adoption or a family law case for conservatorship rights as to the child. That way the stepparent will have the ability to protect and advocate for the child should anything happen to the biological parent.
What Are The Legal Duties Of A Stepparent Who Adopts A Child In Texas?
A stepparent who adopts a child in Texas assumes all of the obligations that a biological parent holds. They have all of the rights, duties, and obligations in the Texas Family Code that a biological parent has to their child. The rights, duties, and obligations to a child include the requirement to feed, clothe, and educate the child, as well as to provide for medical, emotional, and physical needs. An adopting stepparent would then have the ability to consent to all of the necessary treatments for a child, as well as to consent to the child’s marriage, or more commonly, to consent to the child’s enrollment in the armed forces before they turn 18. In short, a stepparent who adopts their stepchild assumes all of the legal rights, duties, and obligations of a biological parent.
What Is The Process Of A Stepparent Adoption In Texas?
In Texas, the process of a stepparent adoption is a bit simpler. The reason is that you already have one biological parent involved. As such, the consent of the biological parent is evident. Some of the same requirements specified in a CPS adoption or private adoption apply. For instance, the stepparent will have to participate in an FBI criminal history check, as well as a CPS registry check. The stepparent will also have to participate in a home study. The home study is done to determine the motivation for adoption and the dynamic of the family. The only aspect in a stepparent adoption that is different from what you might see in a private adoption is the role of the other biological parent. In other words, the biological parent who is not a part of the marriage.
Does the other parent consent to waiving their rights? Perhaps they no longer want to pay child support. Perhaps there is no other parent listed on the birth certificate. There are some specific legal intricacies that make it necessary to have an attorney involved when it comes to a stepparent adoption. The attorney can make sure that the other biological parent’s rights are appropriately and legally terminated. Once the other parent’s rights are legally terminated, the child is eligible to be adopted by the stepparent with the consent of the remaining biological parent. The birth certificate is amended at the conclusion of the adoption to further prove that the stepparent has become one of the parents.
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