A. Petition for Adoption

1. Where Petition Must Be Filed

The Texas Family Code gives authority for a suit in which adoption is requested to be filed in the county in which the child resides or in the county where the petitioners reside, regardless of whether another court has continuing exclusive jurisdiction under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 155. A court that has continuing exclusive jurisdiction is not required to transfer the suit affecting the parent-child relationship to the court in which the adoption suit is filed. Tex. Fam. Code § 155.001(c) allows an exception to continuing, exclusive jurisdiction for suits for adoption under Tex. Fam. Code § 103.001(b). The petition must include a statement that the court in which the petition for adoption is filed either has continuing jurisdiction or has jurisdiction in the county where the child or petitioner resides under Tex. Fam. Code § 103.001(b). Tex. Fam. Code § 102.008(b). The court of continuing jurisdiction must transfer the proceedings to the court with jurisdiction under Tex. Fam. Code § 103.001 upon a motion showing that the petition for adoption has been filed under Tex. Fam. Code § 103.001(b) and requesting a transfer to that court. Tex. Fam. Code § 155.201(a-1).

2. Spouses Must Join in Petition

If a petitioner is married, both spouses must join in the petition for adoption. Tex. Fam. Code § 162.002(a). If after filing a joint petition for adoption, a married couple divorces, the court shall abate the adoption and dismiss the action unless one party thereafter amends the petition and seeks to adopt individually. Tex. Fam. Code § 162.013(c).

3. When to Proceed

The court has authority to proceed with adoption when all parental rights have been terminated or when a suit for termination is joined with a suit for adoption. Tex. Fam. Code § 162.001(b)(1).

Unless waived by the court, the petition for adoption may be heard and the adoption ordered after the child has lived in the adoptive home for six months. Tex. Fam. Code § 162.009.