Can a Birth Mother Reclaim an Adopted Child?

An unplanned pregnancy can be a truly difficult time for everyone, whether you are in a committed relationship or the pregnancy has occurred at the beginning of a new relationship. The decisions that face the mother to be, and of course the father, can indeed be traumatic.

If a birth mother doesn’t feel that raising the baby or child is within her abilities, the decision may be made to continue with the pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption.  This process is then handled by an adoption agency like The Adoption Alliance, who will arrange everything for the birth mother.  According to the Texas Family Code § 161.103 a relinquishment document is irrevocable once is has been signed by a birth parent.. Therefore, the only way a birth parent could reclaim custody of an adopted child is by proving to a court that her decision to sign the relinquishment document was done under fraud or duress.


Who can adopt in Texas?

The laws in Texas that govern adoptions state that any adult may adopt a child.  At the Adoption Alliance, our minimum age requirement is 25 years of age and we require that both parents be under the age of 50 at the time of adoption.

In Texas, there are no limitations placed on same-sex couples and single parents who are looking to adopt. If the person looking to adopt is married then they must adopt with their spouse. This also applies when a couple is separated but the divorce is not finalized. The only specification that is made in any of these cases is that the prospective adoptive parents must be approved under a Texas adoption home study. This will include criminal background checks, interviews and home visits. You can read more about what to expect during this process here.


What are the relinquishment laws for birth parents in Texas?

In the case of adoptions, the birth mother must sign a relinquishment document in order to allow the adoption of her child to proceed. This cannot be signed until 48 hours after the birth of the child.  This is to allow for the mother to be able to think clearly about the decision she is making.

When the birth mother and birth father are not married, the birth father is able to sign these documents before the birth. However, he cannot terminate his parental rights until after the birth. If the parents are married, then the husband must also wait the 48 hours after the birth before signing the relinquishment document. Once it is signed, it is irrevocable.


Can the birth mother choose not to sign the relinquishment document?

In some cases the birth mother may choose not to sign the relinquishment document or proceed with the adoption. She may simply choose to raise the baby or child on her own, with or without the assistance of the birth father.

If you are looking to adopt in Texas or would simply like more information before you decide whether adoption is the right path for you then why not get in touch with us. We can talk you through all the questions you may have about adoption in Texas.

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