mother signing over parental rights

Are you considering adoption? If you are pregnant, there are several options you can choose from when it comes to you and your baby’s future. Adoption is a common option that many women choose. Still, there is a lot to consider as you navigate the process. 

Signing over parental rights is an essential component of the voluntary adoption process that many parents overlook. When you think of the legal termination of parental rights, many people think of foster care.

While signing over your parental rights might sound like a scary process, it’s often less daunting than you may think. When you work with a reliable adoption agency, your adoption specialist will guide you through the process. There are also countless resources available to help you understand what this all means. This article will discuss what every birth mother should know when signing over parental rights. 

What You Need to Know as a Mother Signing Over Parental Rights for Adoption

You have decided to place your baby for adoption, gone through the emotions of the process, and worked with an adoption agency to create your adoption plan. Now what?

One important step of the adoption process is signing over your parental rights. 

So, what can you expect? 

What Is It Like Signing Over Parental Rights? 

Unlike foster care adoptions, private adoptions are a chosen path. Most commonly seen with unplanned pregnancies, many women realize that the adoption process gives their baby the opportunity for a better life. Out of love, adoption is often chosen. As you begin the adoption process, your adoption agency will provide the practical support and resources you need to navigate the challenges of the process. 

When you contact an adoption agency, you’ll be assigned an adoption specialist who will work with you through every step of your journey. You might also have an attorney to help you navigate the legal parts of the process. Although signing over parental rights can come with some heavy emotions, it’s an essential part of the voluntary adoption process. 

When Do Birth Mothers Sign Over Parental Rights? 

Even if you are 100% sure that you are ready to place your baby for adoption while you are pregnant, there are strict laws regarding when and how a mother can consent for adoption. Parental rights are not typically terminated before the baby is born. In some states, like Texas, birth mothers must wait a certain time before signing over parental rights. 

Texas law requires birth mothers to wait at least 48 hours before they can sign a relinquishment of parental rights documents. This document terminates the parent’s parental rights.

The best way to navigate the process is to find a local adoption agency that can explain what terminating your rights means in your specific situation. You can also hire an attorney to review your rights and confirm that all your legal documentation is in order based on the laws of your state. 

Are Fathers Required to Sign Over Parental Rights? 

In some instances, birth fathers can voluntarily terminate their rights, even if adoption isn’t a part of the birth mother’s plan. Some do so because they are actively planning an adoption with the birth mother. Every case is handled on a case-by-case basis using attorneys for legal guidance. 

Is the Termination of Parental Rights Required for All Adoptions? 

The biological parents’ rights must be legally terminated for a child to be adopted into another family. 

The time at which parental rights are signed over varies from state to state. Most states require consent to be in writing and executed before a competent witness, judge, or court-appointed person. 

Is Termination of Parental Rights Required for Adoption in Texas? 

In Texas, the court must terminate the parent-child relationship between the child and all living biological parents for a child to be eligible for adoption. 

Contact Texas Adoption Center for More Resources on Signing Over Your Parental Rights

If you are considering adoption, signing over your parental rights is an integral part of the process. Whether you are a birth parent or hopeful adoptive parent, you should speak with a local adoption specialist and adoption attorney to fully understand your state’s laws and how the termination of parental rights relates to your specific circumstances. 

At Texas Adoption Center, we’ve helped countless families navigate the legal aspects of the adoption process. We provide caring support and helpful resources to help you through every step of your journey. Our supportive team can help you explore your options and answer all your questions to proceed with confidence. 

Contact us online today or give us a call at (512) 893-7943 to learn more about signing over parental rights as part of the adoption process.

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