Does Texas Allow for Step-Parent Adoptions in Same-Sex Couples?
One of the hottest topics of debate in the last few decades has been LGBT adoption, and for many some people, it’s pretty each to chop up because the major decisions are made. Same-sex couples can adopt, and currently, there are no restrictions on other elements of the LGBTQIA+ community when it comes to step-parent adoptions either.
However, you may run into various stumbling blocks when it comes to getting legal help and support. Even those close to you or the child may not be on board, and that can make what is a good thing, something that is miserable to handle. If you need help handling a step-parent adoption, call an experienced Texas adoption attorney.
LGBT Patterns in Parenting and Marriage
Based on 2015 data, the Census department estimated that between 2 million and 3.7 million children in the U.S. have an LGBTQ parent. That’s a substantial amount of children, and it’s likely that the volume has increased since 2015 with the U.S. supreme court ruling for same-sex marriage and the raised awareness of other elements within the LGBT community.
Now, the LGBT community member is more likely to foster and adopt children. In fact, they’re about six times more likely to foster children and four times more likely to adopt than non-LGBT people. It’s clear that LGBT members want to raise families and give the opportunity of a loving and supportive home to a child that needs it.
When it comes to step-parent adoptions, the child in question may have been adopted earlier in life or maybe a child of a past relationship. In the event that you’re asking a biological parent to give up their rights, you may be inadvertently causing damage. When a biological parent chooses not to be part of that child’s life, there is some degree of trauma.
However, if that parent is already absent, it may be nothing more than a formality when it comes to handling the adoption. For previously adopted children, the step-parent adoption may be more affirming for the child’s self-worth that they’re wanted and loved.
Stability in Your Marriage and Child Expectations
When you’re the step-parent in the situation, you need to take the adoption very seriously. There should be absolutely minimal risk for divorce, and you need to set expectations with your partner. Do they expect you to operate in a full-parent capacity, or do they simply want your support on how they want to raise their child?
It is difficult for biological parents to tie in another parental figure and respect their decisions as a parent too. There is a lot of learning ground, but in your time as a step-parent, some of those boundaries should have been set in place already. What you don’t want in a step-parent adoption situation is your partner saying, “Don’t discipline my kid.” Even if something brought up on rare occasions, having that hanging over you won’t make for a good relationship for any of you.
Will the Other Parent Surrender Their Rights?
Getting the other parent to surrender their rights can be a complication for LGBT members when the other parent doesn’t approve. For example, if a woman leaves a relationship with a man, whom she had a child with, that former partner may be disgruntled that the woman is now in a same-sex relationship.
That person can hold their rights as a power play, or they may feel genuinely that they’re being evicted from their child’s life. When you’re ready to talk about parental rights, get an attorney involved.
Should You Adopt the Child?
This question always comes down to what is best for the child and the family as a whole. Going through the process of terminating rights in step-parent adoptions will require a motion for preparation, interstate compact affidavit, a family code document, original petition for adoption and name change, and the release of parental rights. It’s a long process, and you should consider the impact it will have on your family.
If You Have Questions About Step-Parent Adoptions, Contact an LGBT Adoption Attorney in Texas
Texas laws don’t prevent same-sex couples from adopting, but that doesn’t mean that your adoption as a stepparent will be any easier. The other parent, involved or not, could stand in the way of your adoption. You can run into other problems as well with your history, financial stability, and more.
When unexpected elements of your life become giant hurdles for a simple adoption, you need to get an attorney on it. At Eddington Worley of Houston, our staff aims to make the adoption process simple and, hopefully, painless. That said, contact our Texas LGBTQ family law office now to learn about your adoption options as a step-parent.
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