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Reverse adoption of a step Father

Houston, TX |

The biological father has never been in the picture and the mother gets married to another man. During the marriage the husband adopts the child. After 4 years the marriage breaks up. Is there a process that the ex-husband can follow to relinquish his parental rights and obligations?

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Attorney answers 3


Generally speaking, an adopted parent is the same as all other parents and he/she wouldn't want to relinquish his/her hard fought rights and emotional relationship with his child in the first place. You know, being a parent is a lot more than just a piece of paper - it's a whole life experience - and to many, it's the ultimate blessing. So anyone thinking of giving up that relationship better think long and hard before they even approach this subject. And simply because the father may have to pay support, is certainly NO reason to terminate parental rights. In the end, that's a decision only the father can make. But remember, it does have an emotional impact on his son, so be careful.

I recommend local counsel in Houston to help you explore this matter more throughly. You can always contact TDPRS for general information and you can always drop in at the Family Law Center and poke around for some assistance.

I hope this helps.


When you adopted the child, I'm sure the family court judge asked if you understood that this is a permanent adoption. Just because you end your married, your obligations and responsibilities to this child continue just like you were his bio. father. For all purposes, including inheritance, this child continue to be YOUR child.

Your case is now very similar to the original bio. father's case. Mom needs to marry another man and be married approximately 1 year. If the new husband wants to adopt the child, a step-parent adoption would be filed and you had the right to ask that your parental rights be terminated.

However, your case is going back to the same court that granted the adoption. The judges do not like changing fathers each time a woman decides to get re-married. It would be up to the judge if your parental rights would be terminated.

Harris County judges do not want to terminate one parent's rights because if the other parent dies, the chid would be an orphan.


In Houston you are going to have a tough time convincing a judge to allow you to terminate based on the reason that you just want to divorce the child's mother. This may not be the answer you want to hear, and this is a question I have been asked before, but as said above, once you sign on to be an adoptive parent, under Texas law, you are now a parent for good. Every adoption I have taken part in, the judge always asks the adopting parents if they understand that they are becoming that child's parent and the rights and duties associated with the role of parent. I would be surprised if that were not the case here.