Readoption and Birth Certificates
This page is intended for general educational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Adoptive parents and other interested parties are advised to consult an attorney. Attorneys listed in this document are offered as suggested referrals for interested parties. International Family Services neither endorses or recommends them other than to suggest that they have some experience in family law as it applies to children adopted from abroad by Texas families. Families should confirm the services and fees offered with the attorneys themselves.
There is no TX law on ‘readoption.’ It has been done, however, in one of two ways,
a) reterminate birth parents’ rights (via publication) in Texas, then complete a Texas adoption; or
b) prove the acceptability of birth parents’ termination of parental rights in foreign country, then complete a Texas adoption.
There are a couple of attorneys in Houston area who have been used by families of international adoption. Contact them find out which method they use along with their fees.
Royal Law Firm, Houston
Ellen Yarrell, Houston
Greg Hughes, Friendswood
Jana Olson, San Antonio, TX
Susan Paquet, Fort Worth, TX
Texas Certificate of Foreign Birth
Texas families may seek to file papers to get a Texas birth certificate under SECTION 1. Subchapter A, Chapter 162, Family Code, Sec.162.023, ADOPTION ORDER FROM FOREIGN COUNTRY, to register the foreign adoption order and file a certificate of birth for the child (see the attached TX Foreign Adoption Law Pass.pdf for details).
Texas Administrative Code allows for a Texas court to authenticate the adoption papers of a child adopted from abroad. The adoptive parents can then submit a court order for the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to issue a “Certificate of Foreign Birth” for their child.
The resulting document looks similar to a Texas birth certificate but will not indicate Texas as the place of birth.
It appears that the key to this process is locating a judge who is willing to find “that all of the prerequisites of the law have been fully complied with by petitioners and that said order of adoption was and is legally valid and of full force and effect under the laws of the United States of America and of the State of Texas.”
Many families feel that obtaining a Texas certificate of foreign birth will be helpful for local purposes (school and sports enrollments, etc.). However, this probably will not be sufficient for purposes of obtaining a U.S. passport (for information on obtaining a U.S. passport for an internationally adopted child, see http://travel.state.gov/childcitfaq.html). Nor does this qualify as a ‘readoption.’
See the file, TXCert ForeignBirth TAC app.pdf, which explains this process.
It contains a copy of the relevant page from the Texas Administrative Code, 25 TAC 181.29 (source: http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.viewtac, accessed 10/8/07).
It also contains copies of two pages
Application for order (sample)
Court order (sample)
(source: Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin, TX)