What are the Laws in Texas Regarding Children and LGBT Couples?
For years, LGBT couples had to fight in order to have the right to marry in Texas. People in the LGBT community in Texas watched other LGBT couples get married in other states. Finally, in June of 2015, the courts in Texas made same-sex marriage legal. But that didn’t mean LGBT couples would share the same rights as other couples in Texas. Even today, there are a lot of rights that same-sex couples don’t enjoy. For example, they’re not able to enjoy spousal benefits if their partner works for the state. They also don’t enjoy any protection when it comes to employment discrimination. Finally, when it comes to LGBT couples trying to adopt or foster a child, they aren’t protected the same way other couples are.
If you and your partner are looking to adopt or foster a child in Houston, Texas, you need to contact an experienced LGBT adoption lawyer. They can help guide you through the adoption process. They can also answer any questions you may have about your rights and obligations in Texas. Here, we offer a brief summary of the laws in Texas concerning LGBT couples’ rights to adopt and foster a child. For any additional information, call and schedule an appointment with a skilled LGBT adoption attorney in Houston, Texas.
State Adoption Agencies Can Legally Refuse LGBT Couples Trying to Adopt a Child
There has been recent legislation and court cases that fall well short of protecting LGBT couples’ right to adopt a child. Many adoption agencies are run by or sponsored by the state. And, these agencies tend to have a greater number of children eligible for adoption. So, it is more than disheartening to learn that these agencies can legally refuse to approve a LGBT couple for adoption. As long as these agencies cite a legitimate religious belief, they’re allowed to refuse adoption to a same-sex couple. This seems wrong from every angle. Sadly, these agencies don’t have to offer any evidence supporting their choice to deny a couple an adoption. All they have to do is claim a religious belief and the court can’t really question it.
LGBT Couples Will Run into Challenges When Trying to Foster a Child in Houston
For a lot of LGBT couples, fostering a child is the best choice. They may want to foster a child because they’re not yet ready to adopt. Or, they grew up in the system and don’t want another child to go through what they went through. No matter how good their intentions, LGBT couples are discriminated against when it comes to fostering or adopting a child. The same law that allows state-run and sponsored agencies to refuse service to a same-sex couple applies to fostering a child. The sad thing about this is that there are thousands of children who need a loving home. LGBT couples are willing and able to offer this life, yet discriminatory agencies won’t allow it to happen. Your Houston LGBT adoption lawyer can help in this regard.
LGBT Couples Enjoy the Same Rights as Straight Couples When It Comes to Step-Parent Adoptions in Texas
Thankfully, the one area in which LGBT couples are protected is when it comes to step-parent adoptions for LGBT couples. LGBT couples are able to complete a step-parent adoption the same way as straight couples. If your partner has already adopted a child, or has biological children, you can file a petition to adopt them. As long as the other biological parent consents to the adoption, your Houston LGBT adoption lawyer can help you complete this adoption. Although, you will be held to the same requirements as any other couple looking to complete a step-parent adoption.
Contact an Experienced LGBT Adoption Lawyer in Houston, Texas
If you and your partner are considering an adoption, you should call and speak with an experienced LGBT adoption lawyer in Houston. They can step in if your rights to adopt a child are challenged. They can also help connect you to adoption agencies that are friendly to LGBT couples.
Call our office today and schedule your initial consultation with an experienced LGBT adoption lawyer in Houston. Adopting or fostering a child is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Your chances at success are much better if you have a skilled lawyer working for you. They’ll work hard to make sure your rights are protected. They’ll also work tirelessly to help you achieve your goal of starting a family.
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