There are many moving pieces when it comes to an adoption, and the facts of an adoption can be overwhelming, even for our seasoned and experienced adoptive families. Every case is different, with unique facts. That’s why securing a dynamic legal team for your adoption is one of the most important steps you can take in this journey.
Although there are many facets to any adoption, here are seven scenarios that Gaydos Duffer feels are important for you to know when considering an adoption in Texas:
- My birth mother wants to sign her Affidavit of Relinquishment when she is discharged from the hospital the day after giving birth. A legal parent (i.e. birth and presumed father) cannot sign an Affidavit of Relinquishment until after the expiration of 48 hours after the baby’s birth.
- My birth mother is married, and she has informed us that he is not the child’s father. If a birth mother is marred, but her husband is not the biological father of the child, under the law he is presumed to the legal father of the child, and his parental rights must be terminated.
- Can the child’s father rescind his Affidavit after he has signed? If a named alleged biological father voluntary signs an Affidavit of Waiver of Interest, his Affidavit is irrevocable upon signing. His parental rights will still need to be terminated by a Court in a legal proceeding.
- Our birth mother has not named an alleged biological father to the child. If a birth mother has not named a biological father to the child, but a man believes he is the father of her child, he has the right to receive notice of a suit to terminate his parental rights if he submits a request to receive notice through the State of Texas’ Paternity Registry.
- Does the birth mother have to know our full names and address? In a private adoption, the adoptive parents are named the managing conservators of the child in the Affidavits signed by the birth mother, presumed father, and/or alleged biological father. Under Texas statutes, the adoptive parents’ full names and home address are required in the Affidavits.
- We are from out of state. Can we leave Texas once the baby is discharged from the hospital into our care? If you and your birth mother reside in different states, your attorney will have to seek the approval of both states in order for you to return to your home state with the baby. This process is called Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). You could be required to remain in the child’s home state anywhere from 7-14 business days to receive approvals from both States.
- My birth mother is in need of counseling during her pregnancy, do we need to involve an agency? In a private adoption, an adoptive family can pay for legal, counseling, and medical expenses for a birth mother without the need to involve a licensed child-placing agency.