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Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt in Texas?

As I discussed recently, same-sex marriage is not presently legal in Texas. While this poses challenges to couples who seek to solemnize their relationship, and to same-sex couples married in other states who seek divorce, it creates a unique path for same-sex couples who seek adoption.

Adoption is a lifelong commitment to a child that transfers parental rights from birth parents to an adoptive parent or parents. Many couples, same-sex and otherwise, expand their families through adoption — either by adopting a child into their family or through adoption by the second partner of the natural child or children of their partner.

Avenues toward adoption include:

  • Gestational adoption: The use of a surrogate mother, or carrier, is a road to adoption for same-sex couples. In a surrogacy arrangement, well-drafted legal agreements define and establish rights and responsibilities of all parties. Because of complicated surrogacy laws, understanding your legal rights at the outset is important.
  • Agency adoption: Many couples work through local, state or international agencies to explore and pursue their dream of adopting a child. Adoption is also possible through processes defined by The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
  • Natural birth: One partner in a female same-sex couple may become a birth-mother, with adoptive rights granted to the non-birth partner.

By any means, adoption is a detailed and complex legal procedure. In Houston or elsewhere, seek experienced legal advice to help bring your child home.

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Robert Reid McInvale
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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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