Short History of Adoption Law in Texas
The first adoption laws were established in 1850 allying one to adopt the legal heir by filing a written affidavit. In 1907 biological parents were allowed to file a written affidavit transferring parental authority to adoptive parents.
In 1920, law regarding voluntary abandonment of a child by a parent for three years or more was established. These adoptions were matter of public record and birth certificates were stamped with the word illegitimate.
In 1965 the legislature enacted statutes which restricted access to information held by state agencies and license child placing agencies. Information regarding dependency hearings on children born out of wedlock were classified confidential and restricted from disclosure except to a party to the dependency hearing or his attorney.
In 1989 legislation was passed granting adoptive parents and adult adoptees the right to access all information, working papers and reports and records relating to social study on a child. This information must be edited to protect the identity of any birth parents.
Methods of Adoption
There are differing legal guidelines for families adopting in Texas depending on whether you are adopting a newborn domestic or private adoption, an infant or older child from foster care, or an infant toddler or older child through international adoption.
In Texas any adult may adopt a child. Out-of-state residents may finalize and adoption. Adopted parents may also use of adoption facilitator or paid intermediary. Paid intermediaries may only be authorized child placing agencies, attorneys, social workers, mental health professionals, or physicians so authorized.
Adult Adopted Persons
Texas law allows adult adopted persons to know the identity of each parent named on their original birth certificate. They may also receive a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate without obtaining a court order.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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