Have couples pursued adoption during divorce? Yes, it has happened that during the process of adopting a child, a couple decides that their marriage is irreconcilable and file for divorce. You might assume that divorce signals the end of adoption. In some cases it may, but not in all cases.
Texas Family Code on Adoption During Divorce
The Texas Family Code states that if the couple petitioning for adoption divorce, the court abates the suit for adoption and dismisses the petition. The exception is when one of the original petitioners amends the petition. An example would be that the wife still wants to adopt the child and has her attorney amend the petition so that just she is requesting to adopt the child.
Different Types of Adoption Situations
During any adoption, if the biological parents are still living, the court must terminate their paternal rights before adoption can occur. In a consensual adoption, they agree to relinquish their rights. Sometimes a biological parent agrees to have a couple adopt the child but divorce changes that decision. If the parent had not yet relinquished parental rights, the parent could decide to not go through with the adoption.
When parents’ rights have already been terminated due to a foster care situation, then the parents don’t have the right to contest adoption. When a couple decides to divorce and one parent petitions to continue adoption it’s up to the court to decide. Courts rule based on the child’s best interests and can dismiss adoption proceedings if it’s not best for the child.
Stepparents often adopt their spouse’s children. However, courts require that the stepparent to be married first, and they can’t be married until a divorce is finalized.
Seek Legal Help for Adoption
If you have questions about divorce and/or adoption, our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates are glad to answer your questions and provide you with legal advice.