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May same-sex couples adopt children in Texas?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2022 | Same Sex Family Law Issues |

Texas statutes allow married same-sex couples to adopt children. The law does not differentiate between married same-sex couples and married heterosexual couples. Texas House Bill 3859, however, allows adoption agencies to screen potential parents based on their religion.

Adoption agencies may deny or refuse to place children in your home based on your religious preferences. Agencies may also refrain from providing services because of your beliefs regarding contraceptives. HB 3859 requires agencies to refer would-be parents to another adoption agency when refusing services.

Adopting a same-sex partner’s biological child

An unmarried individual may adopt a partner’s biological children. Unmarried same-sex couples in long-term relationships may adopt through second-parent adoptions, as noted by the UNT Dallas College of Law. As described on the website, adopting a domestic partner’s biological child provides a “second” parent.

Couples living together may give each other consent to adopt a child through second-parent adoptions. If a child’s biological “first” parent falls ill, the “second” parent has the same legal rights and responsibilities.

Passing a pre-adoptive home study or assessment

Chapter 162 of the Texas Family Code requires passing a criminal background check during the adoption process. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services also performs a home study, which could include a health screening. Officials may ask individuals several questions, such as why they wish to adopt and how they intend to discipline their children.

The Lone Star State’s adoption laws allow same-sex couples to adopt whether married or in a long-term committed relationship. Individuals who could pass the home study screening may adopt a child through an agency or the second-parent adoption process.