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Stepparent Adoption: Do I Need the Noncustodial Parent's Consent?

If you are planning on adopting your stepson or stepdaughter, he or she is very fortunate to have such a loving person in their life. Each state has established its own laws regarding adoption; however, the adoption process is typically easer for stepparents. As a rule, the states have different requirements for home studies and criminal background checks.

Do I Need the Noncustodial Parent’s Consent?

If you wish to adopt your stepchild, you will need your spouse’s consent. The rights of the child’s other parents must also be terminated prior to the adoption being consummated.. The noncustodial parent can sign a relinquishment of their parental rights, and a judge must sign off on the termination of his or her rights.

In Texas, adoption is governed by Title 5, Chapter 162 of the Family Code. Under Section 162.001(b)(2), Who May Adopt and Be Adopted, it says a child residing in Texas may be adopted by a stepparent if, “the parent whose rights have not been terminated is presently the spouse of the petitioner and the proceeding is for a stepparent adoption.”

If you file a suit for a stepparent adoption, an adoption evaluation must be conducted pursuant to Chapter 107 of the Family Code. “In Texas, individuals seeking to adopt a child are required to participate in a pre-adoptive home screening and post-placement report. If the child is already residing in the home, the Court typically combines the two into an adoption evaluation,” according to Harris County’s Domestic Relations Office.

Are you interested in learning more about stepparent adoptions in Katy, and throughout Harris and Fort Bend counties? If so, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC today.