Any adult can file an adoption case for another adult if:
- The adult requesting the adoption resides in Texas, and
- The adult to be adopted consents to the adoption
Yes. When you file for adoption of an adult, you must usually pay a “filing fee.” The fee may vary by county. Contact the district clerk’s office or the statutory county court with jurisdiction over family law cases in the county where you (the petitioner) live to learn the fees.
If you don’t have enough money to pay the fees, you can ask a judge to waive the fees by completing and filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs. Read this short article to learn more: Court Fees & Fee Waivers.
The person asking the court for the adoption order is the “petitioner.”
If the petitioner is married, then both spouses must join together as petitioners in the adoption case.
Note: Even though the spouse of a petitioner in an adoption case must also join in the adoption case as a petitioner, the spouse may ask the court not to grant the adoption to both spouses, and only to one.
An adult adoption can be granted in Texas without listing any “respondent” parties.
Because the person to be adopted is an adult, there is no requirement to give notice of the adoption to the adult’s biological parents or to bring in the adult’s biological parents as parties to the case.
Yes. Both the petitioner(s) and the adult to be adopted must go to court for the adoption hearing.
Note: If you have a really good reason that either the petitioner(s) or the adult to be adopted cannot attend the hearing, you can ask the court to make an exception that attendance in court for either party to the adoption is not required. This exception is rare and only applies if you have “good cause” and if the judge signs a written order giving permission that either party to the adoption is not required to go to court for the adoption.
An adult adoption:
Makes the adopted adult the son or daughter of the adoptive parent(s)
Creates the adopted adult’s right to inherit from the adoptive parents
The adopted adult no longer inherits from or through the adopted adult’s biological parents.
Note: An adult adoption will not impact immigration rights or grant benefits under immigration law.
An adult adoption will not be approved (ordered) if the judge believes:
The adoption is being requested to avoid a legal obligation (such as paying a debt)
A party to the adoption is not voluntarily agreeing to the adoption (for example, due to a disability or duress)
If you have been served with a citation and petition, there is a deadline to file your answer.
To determine the deadline, find the day you were served on a calendar. Count out 20 more days (including weekends and holidays) then go to the next Monday. You must file your answer with the court on or before this date at 10:00 a.m. If the 20th day falls on a Monday, go to the next Monday. If the courts are closed on the day your answer is due, then your answer is due the next day the courts are open.
If you are served and do not file an answer on or before the deadline, the petitioner can finish the case without any further notice to you. This is called a “default judgment.”
If you have NOT been served with a citation and petition, there is no deadline to file your answer. You can file your answer at any time after the petitioner files a petition (the form that starts the lawsuit) with the court. If you file your answer, the petitioner will not need to have you served.
NOTE: The deadline to file an answer may be different if you have a civil case (such as an eviction or other type of case filed in Justice of the Peace court)