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Step-Parent Adoptions
Time for Commitment

Adopting a step-child is the most common form of adoption in Texas. The adopting step-parent assumes full legal responsibility for the child of his or her spouse. The noncustodial parent (the parent not living with the child) must have had his or her rights previously terminated by the court or a termination must be requested as part of the adoption for the adoption to occur. After the step-parent adoption occurs, the noncustodial parent no longer has any rights to be with or obligations for the child, including child support.

Step-parent adoption of is permanent and cannot be reversed by a separation or divorce. The practical effect of this is that the adoptive parent has all the liabilities and responsibilities that are associated with parenthood, including the potential obligation to pay child support in the future and visitation rights.

The last name of the child may be changed and, if requested, copies of the finalized documents are required to prove the name-change at school and to obtain updated changes of name on government forms, such as the child’s birth certificate and Social Security card. If a name change is requested, your adopted child will receive a new birth certificate showing the child’s new name, and also the new parent’s name listed as parent on the birth certificate.

In Texas, the person filing for the step-parent adoption is referred to as the “Petitioner,” while the absent parent is considered the “Defendant.” The petitioning step-parent files the documents for legal adoption with the court, which begins the adoption process.

An “Uncontested Adoption” means that the absent parent or “Defendant” will file papers with the Court stating that they agree to the step-parent adoption or has previously been terminated and the custodial parent (the parent the child lives with) consents to the adoption.

David Enos has successfully helped many families with step parent adoptions. 

If you need an attorney that will listen to you and protect your interests, Call David Enos at (806)372-7307.