Second-Parent Adoptions in Houston, Texas
For years, LGBT couples have to jump through hoops to adopt a child in Texas. Texas was one of the last states to allow LGBT couples to marry. And even now, with same-sex marriage being legal, there is still a lot of bias against LGBT couples looking to adopt in Houston.
Thankfully, LGBT couples have just as many options as a straight couple when it comes to adopting a baby in Texas. Your Houston LGBT adoption lawyer knows what your options are and they can discuss them with you in detail. The options available to you include the following:
- Adopt a child
- Use a surrogate
- Have in-vitro fertilization
- Adopt a child that one partner already has
No matter which of these options you and your partner choose, you will face one challenge that a straight couple will never have to face. If you get divorced, and only one of you are the legal parent of your children, you will run into a lot of issues.
Only a legal parent has custody rights in the event of divorce or separation. This means that, if only one of you have legally adopted a child, the other will not be entitled to parental rights if you split up.
Your LGBT adoption attorney in Houston has a possible solution for you. It’s called a second-parent adoption. This is when the second parent in a same-sex marriage can apply to adopt a child that their partner has already adopted.
What is a Second-Parent Adoption?
A lot of LGBT couples choose to adopt a child rather than use a surrogate or try in vitro fertilization. It is a bit more practical. It can also be a lot cheaper. But, when it comes to LGBT adoptions, usually only one of the spouses actually completes the adoption.
The reasons for this are pretty simple. Given the bias held against LGBT couples, many of them choose to have just one of the parents file for adoption. This increases their chances of being approved for the adoption. However, the problem with this is that only one of you will be legal parent of the adopted children.
One solution to this problem is something called a second-parent adoption. Once your partner completes their adoption, your LGBT adoption lawyer in Houston can help you petition to do a second-parent adoption. This will allow both parents to be the legal parents of your children.
Second-parent adoptions are also a wonderful option for LGBT couples who adopted their children prior to 2017. If you aren’t married, you’ll have little options when it comes to custody if you break up. Second-parent adoptions are great for couples who got married after same-sex marriage became legal in Texas.
LGBT Adoption Attorneys in Houston Know the Process for Second-Parent Adoptions
Second-parent adoptions give LGBT couples the chance to have both people become the legal parents to their children. It also allows your children to have two (2) parents. To complete this process, you’ll go through the same channels as a regular adoption.
The process for a second-parent adoption in Texas is as follows:
- First, you must file a petition for adoption.
- Next, you have to find a way to terminate any existing parental rights. You need to make sure both of the child’s biological parents agree to the adoption. If they don’t, you’ll have to petition the court to terminate their parental rights. This can be quite difficult. However, since your partner will consent to the adoption, you’ll really only have to worry about one biological parent.
- You will have to get background checks and fingerprinting done.
- You’ll have to take part in a detailed home study. Since your partner is already your child’s legal parent, they will be familiar with this process.
- Attend the adoption hearing. Your LGBT adoption lawyer in Houston will attend this hearing with you.
- Finalize the adoption – To finalize the adoption, you’ll have to show the following:
- Clean criminal background
- Fingerprints came back with no issues
- Prove that the child has lived with you for at least 6 months
- Show consent of any children over 12
- Proof that you have been married to their parent for at least 1 year
If you provide all of this information and complete this process, your adoption should be approved.
Contact a LGBT Adoption Attorney in Houston, Texas
If you and your partner are looking to complete a second-adoption in Texas, you should call an experienced LGBT adoption attorney in Houston. Whether you’re looking to adopt a child together or one that you already have, you’ll need to file an adoption petition.
Call Eddington & Worley and schedule your initial consultation today. Get the peace of mind that you and your family deserve.
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