Step Father Adoptions When the Biological Parent is a Deadbeat in Texas

by Ricardo Barrera

cheerful father and daughter hugging and looking at camera at home

In Texas, the non-payment of child support for one year is a valid ground for termination of parental rights. Other valid grounds include:

  • addiction to dangerous drugs,
  • certain criminal acts,
  • and general neglect of a child.

Although these are valid grounds, the judge may still deny, or grant a termination of parental rights based on these reasons. Judges will be more likely to grant the termination of parental rights when a step-parent is adopting the child at the same time by combining a petition to terminate parental rights with a petition for a step-parent adoption.

Relinquishment of Parental Rights

If a biological parent is willing to give up their parental rights and an adoption is possible, there is a form that the court will look for called “affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.” This form, properly drafted and notarized by the parent to be terminated, is very compelling upon the court. The adopting parent must pass a criminal background check as well. You are not required to have a clean criminal record if you want to adopt a child in Texas, but any conviction must be known to the court, so they can decide if it is in the best interest of the child to be adopted.

Adoptions & Termination of Biological Parental Rights

The court may appoint a representative to verify procedures, interview the prospective adoptive parent, and ensure the adoption is in the best interest of the child. In cases where there is no parent on the birth certificate, the court will want a verification from the Texas Parent Registry to ensure that there is no parent out there making a paternity claim on the child. If the whereabouts of the biological parent is unknown, this cannot stop a termination of parental rights and adoption. Instead, it prolongs it so that procedures are followed to give reasonable notice of the termination and adoption by an alternative service of the court paperwork. Ultimately, judges love adoptions and they are looked at as an important part of keeping our community strong by fortifying the family unit.

For more information on child custody, adoption, and parental rights, call The Barrera Law Firm at 956-428-2822 or reach out to us online



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