If you want to adopt your spouse’s child, you will have to apply for adoption through the court. The judge will authorize the adoption if it is "in the best interest of the child."
Adoption grants all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent. If the other parent (the parent other than your spouse) is alive, their parental rights must be terminated before adoption can take place. You and your spouse can jointly file for adoption and termination of the other parent’s rights at the same time.
Texas adoption laws are in Chapter 162 of the Texas Family Code.
Accessible Law, a journal of the University of North Texas (UNT) Dallas College of Law, has published a Guide to a Successful Stepparent Adoption in Texas. While the guide is not a substitute for legal advice, it may help you understand the general laws related to the adoption process.
Texas does not have official, fill-in-the-blank forms for stepparent adoption. Because every adoption is unique, it is difficult to create one-size-fits-all forms. However, the library has several books with sample adoption forms that you may be able to adapt to your situation:
These and other e-books may be accessed remotely with a free library account.
Please note that our librarians cannot determine which forms you should use. The law can be complex, so you may wish to talk to an attorney before taking any action. For more information on finding an attorney, please see the library's Legal Help page.
Adult adoption does not require termination of parental rights, but you will still need to file an adoption case with the court. I want to adopt an adult in Texas guide from TexasLawHelp.org provides sample forms and instructions for adult adoption.