16225 Park Ten Place, Houston, TX 77084

English | En español

Call Us832-919-6400

The Foray Firm

What Is a Contested Adoption in Texas?

Posted on in Family Law

Sugar Land family law attorneyA contested adoption typically occurs when one birth parent wishes to place a child up for adoption while the other parent refuses to allow it. Often, contested adoption happens when the birth father does not want the child to be adopted. The mother may make the decision to give her child up for adoption, but the father may not agree with that decision. This normally occurs between young, unmarried couples who may not have the means necessary to care for a child on their own. Contested adoptions can often be frustrating for everyone involved, and all parties will likely want to have legal representation.

Common Reasons For a Contested Adoption

Contested adoptions are not uncommon, as putting a child up for adoption is a difficult life decision to make. Fathers may object for a variety of reasons. The father may not have known that the mother was pregnant, or he may not have known whether the child was his. Because mothers know about the child first, they have more time to make up their minds about adoption, whereas some fathers do not find out about their child until they take a paternity test. Fathers or mothers may also change their minds at the last minute, especially when they get to physically see their child after he or she is born.

What Happens During a Contested Adoption?

Both biological parents will typically have parental rights, including the right to be involved in their child's life. In addition, they will also have the obligation to provide financial support for the child. When a child is adopted, the birth parents' parental rights are terminated, and either parent may object to giving up those rights. In these cases, the decision about whether to grant the adoption must be decided in court.

For example, if a father objects to the adoption, the court must determine whether his parental rights should be terminated. The first step will be to examine the father’s intentions and actions throughout the pregnancy. By looking at the father’s history, the court will decide if the objection to the adoption has altruistic intentions. Sometimes, the court will side with the father, putting a stop to the adoption. In other cases, the judge may compare the adoptive parents to the birth parents to determine who can best provide for the child's needs. The overall purpose of the hearings is to place the child in the home that is the best fit. If the judge believes that the father is incapable of taking care of the child, the adoptive parents will be allowed to adopt. However, if the biological father is determined to be capable of caring for the child, the adoption may not be granted.

Contact a Houston, TX Family Law Attorney

If a child is unplanned, his or her mother or father may worry about their ability to provide for their child's needs. While adoption can be a viable option in these cases, both parents may want to have a say in whether the child should be adopted. While adoptive parents will often be able to provide a good home for a child, the proper legal processes must be followed to terminate the parental rights of both birth parents. If you are planning to adopt a child in a contested adoption case, or if you wish to retain parental rights for your child, contact our experienced Harris County adoption lawyers at 832-919-6400. At The Foray Firm, our experienced contested adoption attorneys work hard to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected.



state bar of texas The National Bar Association AILA Fort Bend County HLA
Back to Top