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Adoption in Texas

In Texas, adoptions used to be a closed-off process that did not permit adoptive parents to meet birth parents, and vice versa. Now, depending on the stipulations involved with the particular adoption, the process can be either closed or open. A closed adoption means that the birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet or otherwise communicate. Information about the birth parents is withheld and the records are often sealed. Birth details may be accessed once the child turns 18 and opts to search for the birth parent of record. It is also possible to go through a legal process that reveals information about the adoption with the court's approval.

An open adoption involves both sets of parents being able to meet and interact, with the birth parent being able to choose suitable adoptive parents for the child. In many cases, the adoptive parents are involved during the pregnancy phase and may even be present for the birth of the child. Open adoptions allow both families to communicate with one another, particularly on special occasions.

There are advantages and disadvantages to open adoption. While open adoptions are transparent and fully communicative, allowing vital information to be received that could be in the best interest of the child, an adoptive parent can also become insecure. Adoptive parents may become concerned about the possibility of the birth parent becoming overly involved and taking legal action to reclaim the child. An adoptive parent may also be anxious about the child identifying more with the birth parent as a parental unit.

Adoption in Texas can be a wonderful parenting option, but it is important to understand the process. Anyone wishing to adopt a child may want to consult an adoption attorney about their options.

Source: Findlaw, "Open vs. Closed Adoption", December 16, 2014

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