Texas’ reputation as a veteran-friendly state carries over into state legal code when it comes to adoptions. State law explicitly forbids discrimination against a potential adoptive parent for past or present service in the United States military.

Service in the armed forces may mean frequent travel or other hardships for family members, but it can also be an infinitely rewarding experience. Many service members, veterans and their families thrive in the military lifestyle. Thankfully, Texas law recognizes and protects this. Service “may not be considered … as a negative factor in determining whether the adoption is in the best interest of the child or whether the petitioner would be a suitable parent.”

Factors a court does consider

The law is clear on what courts can consider in an adoption. These include, among other things, any criminal history of the prospective parent or parents, any existing relationship with the child and whether the prospective parents are married. Unmarried persons can adopt in Texas, but married couples cannot adopt independently of one another. Consistent with family law in most states, courts can consider any other factors a judge deems to be in the “best interest of the child.” However, the code makes certain exclusions.

For instance, courts cannot consider the race of the child or the prospective parents when ruling on an adoption. And they do not consider marital status as reason for denial. Children of all ages are eligible, but those above 12 years old typically must agree to the adoption in writing.

Adopting across borders

Texas law outlines compliance with other states and countries in facilitating an adoption across borders. Depending on the similarities in requirements and processing, adoptions between other states or nations can be a more complicated process, but if it is in the best interest of the child, courts can usually settle on an agreement.