Can You Adopt As A Single Parent In Texas?


a single parent speaking to their adopted child at eye levelCan You Adopt As A Single Parent In Texas? Yes, Texas law does not restrict adoption to married couples or those in a legal partnership. A single parent can provide a loving, stable home as well as a married couple or a couple in a long-term relationship. However, single parents should brace themselves for the complex and prolonged adoption process.

You don’t have to have a lawyer to adopt a child as a single parent in Texas, but an experienced family law attorney who is experienced in adoption can facilitate the process and advise you on what to expect with each step. Smith Family Law, an Austin family law firm, works with single people seeking adoptions. When you’re ready to get started, call our firm for a consultation with a skilled Austin family law attorney.

Single Parent Adoption in Texas

There are several aspects of single-parent adoption to consider before you petition the court to adopt.

Home Study

All adoptions legally require a home study. The purpose is to ensure that the child will be placed in a stable, safe home and that the adoptive family is a good match for the child. The home study may be conducted by a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) representative or an attorney ad litem, an independent lawyer appointed to represent the interests of the child.

The report details your home and life, emphasizing the environment where the child will grow up. One requirement for adoption is that the home has at least two bedrooms, one for the parent and one for the child.

Potential Lifestyle Changes

Consider the financial and social aspects of raising a child alone. Do family and close friends form a strong support network for you to assist with the child during emergencies or illness? Can you afford to shoulder the cost of raising a child alone? Single adoptive parents will not receive child support from the child’s biological parents.

Resources for Single Adoptive Parents

You may have more options to add to a personal support network. A local, reputable adoption center can connect you with support groups for single adoptive parents or may be able to refer you to a counselor to talk to before initiating the adoption process so you are fully aware of the commitment.

Adoption Eligibility in Texas

Texas DFPS notes that potential adoptive parents may be either single or married. It also requires that all potential adoptive parents meet the following criteria:

  • Be financially stable
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Share lifestyle and background information with the court
  • Provide references (your attorney can give you more details about appropriate references)
  • Be mature and responsible
  • Provide proof of divorce or marriage if this applies
  • Undergo a criminal background check (all adults in the home must comply)
  • Submit to a child abuse background check (again, all adults in the home must comply)
  • Complete the application to adopt
  • Undergo a completed home study

An attorney can help you gather the appropriate documentation to support your petition to adopt and answer questions about what to expect regarding the home study and criminal background check. They can also represent your interests in family law court hearings and help you complete all the paperwork necessary to petition for adoption.

Texas Adoption Laws for Single Parents

The laws to adopt as a single parent in Texas are the same as they are for married couples or those in committed relationships. Texas Family Code Chapter 162 covers the requirements for a prospective parent to prove that adopting the child is in the child’s best interests and the procedure the parent must follow to petition the courts to grant the adoption.


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Home Study Process in Texas

a single parent researching the question "can you adopt as a single parent in texas"The home study may be intimidating for many prospective parents, but a family law attorney can help you with the process and ensure you meet all deadlines.

A home study consists of the following elements:

Documentation. You will need to mail or upload all the documents pertaining to the home study and your personal background. Items like smoke detectors, outlet covers, and baby gates might be required to show the home’s safety for a child.

You might have to undergo fingerprinting. An adoption lawyer may help you locate the right facility to have this done.

Interviews. You and your family will have group and individual interviews with the home study social worker. This can include extended family, potential nannies, babysitters, and other household members the child might spend time with.

The purpose is to get an idea of the family dynamic and how the child will fit into the family. The social worker also evaluates your adoption readiness and makes a recommendation for the court. Questions can be about your relationships, your extended family dynamic, or your support system.

Home Visits. The next step is a tour of your home with the home study social worker. They may use a checklist to ascertain that you’ve taken appropriate safety measures to prevent access to a hot tub, firearms, or other dangerous items in the home. You might not need a fully child-proofed home at this stage, but the social worker will assess if you’ve started making such considerations.

Post-Placement Visits. After placing your adoptive child in your home, the social worker will conduct a post-placement assessment. About six months after the initial placement, this assessment typically occurs to ensure everyone adapts well to the change. You may have interviews and an additional home inspection.

A judge reviews the reports of the home study and uses these to determine whether your adoption of the child is in the child’s best interests.

How an Austin Family Law Attorney Can Help Single Parents Adopt

Now that you know that you can adopt as a single parent in Texas, do you want to adopt a child but are unsure where to get started? Smith Family Law, skilled Austin adoption lawyers, can help you learn more about the laws and requirements and evaluate adoption agencies in the area. Contact our team today at 512-675-2048 for a consultation with our team of professional family law attorneys.

Written by: Smith Family Law

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