Adoption is a very exciting prospect for adults who want to add new faces to their families. As with bringing any new child into a family, adoption is a very selfless act. If you’re considering adoption, however, you must be prepared for all of the potential challenges the process can present. Among these challenges are factors about you that can hurt your chances of a successful adoption.
Understanding these disqualifying factors can help make adjustments for things that are within your control and prepare to discuss those that aren’t. It also helps to have an attorney on your side who can ensure that you are treated fairly by those facilitating the adoption process. Keep in mind, however, that any barriers you may encounter to adoption are intended to protect the best interests of the child.
With that said, discuss a few common disqualifying factors for adoption in Texas.
1. Your Age
Our age is beyond our control, which can make this a difficult challenge to overcome. Adults seeking adoption in Texas must be at least 21 years old. Those most affected by this disqualifying factor may be adults ages 18-20 who seek adoption of a new child or perhaps a minor relative.
There is no maximum age for an adult to adopt a child in Texas. In fact, grandparent adoption is an option that not all families are aware of. Other factors that correlate with age, such as health, may become obstacles of their own, though.
2. Your Health
Your health is another possible disqualifying factor for adoption. If you have a mental or physical illness that could potentially and seriously impede your parental abilities, you can be disqualified for adoption. That said, those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or depression aren’t automatically disqualified, especially if they are getting treatment for their conditions.
More life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, might present more serious barriers to overcome. For example, the adoption agency might require someone with a history of cancer to be in remission for a certain period before becoming eligible for adoption.
Remember that these potential limitations are in place to protect a child’s interests, not discriminate against those with serious health conditions.
3. Your Criminal History
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in adoption is the home study, and a big part of that is evaluating your criminal history. Your criminal history doesn’t include traffic or parking tickets, but rather any arrests, charges, and/or convictions against you.
Unless you’ve expunged your criminal record, all of this will shop up on your background check and disqualify you from adoption. If your criminal history involves violence against children, disqualification is certain. Likewise, for any domestic violence, felony violence, or sex crime arrests, disqualification is almost certain.
If your criminal record only involves non-violent offenses or misdemeanor violent offenses, you may be evaluated on an individual basis.
4. Your Financial Situation
You don’t need to be very wealthy to adopt a child. You also don’t need to be completely free of debt (for example, homeowners are expected to have mortgages and a lot of people carry some credit card debt). That said, your financial situation should be stable enough that you can provide for a child’s needs and your own.
If you have a lot of debt or have filed for bankruptcy in the past, this might disqualify you from adoption. You can also be disqualified if you don’t earn a regular income or are frequently between jobs.
5. Your Lifestyle
Lastly, adoption agencies will want to know how you live your life when considering you for adoption. Your sense of right and wrong and your values can’t be objectively assessed, but adoption agencies might try to evaluate if you have the makings of an appropriate adoptive parent by asking you questions about your life.
One of the most commonly encountered lifestyle barriers is a prospective parent’s sexual orientation and religion. Some religious-oriented adoption agencies may discriminate against LGBT adults and adults with religious beliefs that don’t align with those of the adoption agency.
Do You Need an Adoption Advocate?
Adoption can be a very difficult process to endure, and you might encounter various challenges along the way. Succeeding, however, can mean having the family you always dreamed of having while giving a child a loving place to call home.
If you are seeking adoption, get legal representation from Kay Polk, Attorney at Law. We can help you through this process. Contact us today to get started!