Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Why judges are dismissing pro se litigants (aka people representing themselves)

The number of people representing themselves in Texas is skyrocketing.

Many cases are dismissed for many reasons.

Some of the reasons are:

1. No one shows up on trial date.  The judge announces the names from the bench.  If no one stands up, the case is dismissed.

2. People show up -- but don't have any paperwork filled out.  Judges in most counties don't give out paperwork.  The burden is on you to have your paperwork ready and properly filled out.

Remember - Judges cannot practice law once they become a judge.  Many will offer you "suggestions" and you need to listen carefully because they are truly trying to help you.  If you don't understand, ask the judge to repeat it and write it down.  Then call a lawyer and try to have the lawyer interpret what the judge said.

3.  The couple reconciles and no longer wants the case to go forward. Judges love to dismiss for this reason.

4. The people begin to argue with the judge or are rude to the Judge or the judge's staff.  This is never a good idea and I advise against being "rude" or "disrespectful" to a judge or any staff person.

5. The issue is truly too complex for the person to represent themselves in court.  The judge will often recommend that you hire an attorney.  This usually is a "hint" that the case is too complicated or the paperwork does not fit what you are trying to accomplish.

6. When the judge asks the parties to present their case at trial they just look at the judge or burst into tears.  It's your responsibility to know what to do.  The judge might try to help you but I recommend that you spend several days in the courtroom to figure out what attorneys do when there is a hearing or trial.

7. The person in front of the judge asks the judge to do something illegal or something that the judge cannot do.  Judges in Texas follow Texas law.  Texas law does not address EVERYTHING that could ever happen.

For example, there is no law regarding having a bedroom for each child or having a bed for each child.  The Texas Legislature writes the law and the judge merely interprets what the law says.

Or, a man own a paid for asset before marriage. The judge cannot give the property to the other spouse.

8. The person that filed the lawsuit shows up for trial but the other party was not properly served with notice of the lawsuit.  Or, the person has been served but the paperwork was not properly filled out or the time has not been long enough.  There are many "technical" time-lines that must be met or the judge cannot go forward.

I'm sure there are many more reasons but if you represent yourself in court be aware that the judge might try to help you but is limited by what he/she is allowed to do by Texas law.

I'm an attorney and I always hire another attorney to represent me in the courtroom.  Why? Because I'm personally involved and I might be too emotionally involved to do a thorough and professional job in front of the judge.


DO NOT POST QUESTIONS FOR ME TO ANSWER ON THIS BLOG!

This blog site will NOT allow me to answer questions that are posted.

If you want to ask me a question, then you need to contact me directly at

fran@familylaw4u.com



I receive many questions -- but I cannot figure out how to respond. I apologize. 



My office number is 713-847-6000 you can always pick up the phone and call me too.  

I offer a free 10 minute consultation over the phone if you live in the Houston Texas area. 

(Don't call if your case is not regarding Texas laws since I cannot give any advice for people with problems outside of Texas.)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Houston Texas Divorce & Modification Thoughts by a 25 year TX attorney

Child Support - For someone going through a divorce in Texas and wanting to know about child support, they need to first look at their tax returns. In Texas, we take into account all sources of income also known as net resources. For example, I've actually had people that don't “work” or are “unemployed”. I said, “Okay, how do you live and pay your bills?” For example, one man owned several blocks of downtown Houston. He lived off of his investments. Well, his child support will be based on his income based on his tax returns. He was a multi-millionaire. He was not happy about having to pay child support because he did not actually “work”.

What most people don’t realize is that other people have tried every trick in the book. At the courthouse is a syndrome referred to as “RAIDS” or “Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome”. The best example I have of that is, if I had an engineer quit his job, making over $200,000 a year. He decided to become a bagger at a grocery store making minimum wage. We went down, and the judge said, "I think it is lovely that you are a bagger at a grocery store. You are purposely underemployed and therefore you are going to pay child support at your last job at $200,000 a year." Needless to say, the guy was upset.

I had an oil executive that got laid off in the oil business. I said, "Okay, so are you going to go get another job?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "Okay, it will be based on your new job." He was upset and wanted it based on his unemployment. Judges know that most oil executives get new jobs and they are willing to wait a few months until the person gets a new full-time job with benefits.

Child Custody & Spousal Support - Since Texas is a gender neutral state, I’ve had at least 3 women in the last year that had “house husbands” that they supported 100% because the men were home raising the children while the wife worked.  In all 3 cases, the men qualified for spousal support.  I thought men paying spousal support were angry until I observed these women’s reactions. 

Many people are under the mistaken belief that Texas does not have alimony. The legislature of Texas opened that door several years ago and the door is getting opened wider and wider every time the Texas legislature meets.  Texas is not as generous as California, but Texas has now opened the door.

Many women mistakenly believe that they get automatic custody in Texas of the minor children. Again, the Texas legislature has changed the Texas Family Code to be gender neutral.  Having given birth does not automatically insure that a woman will win primary custody.

I often hear people talk about in Texas is “full custody”.  I have no idea that that means since it is not a legal term used in Texas.  It is presumed in the Texas Family Code that the parents will co-parent and that they will both have Joint Custody of the minor children.  Joint custody does not mean that there will be no child support.  Joint custody does not mean that the parents will equally share the children.  I urge people to talk to an experienced family law attorney when the first begin to think about separating or divorcing.

Why Mediation Works - I'm always appalled about the attorneys that don't prepare their clients for the reality of divorce and child custody cases. In mediation I frequently find out more about the case then their own attorney because I ask a lot of questions. That's how I settle cases at mediation, because I actually listen to the people discuss their feelings and their fears.  
Fear, anger, revenge, and other emotions can often paralyze a person.  A person that is in panic mode cannot make rational and reasonable decisions.  A person’s feelings must be addressed in order to help them make decisions that they will not regret later and move forward.  Some attorneys try to avoid discussing emotions and feelings.  In order to be an effective mediator, I must address what is motivating the people and their feelings. 

When I litigated, I often had judges ask me why I never had contested hearings and trials in their courtroom.  I would tell them that I know how they are going to rule in a case and I can therefore usually settle a case without going to mediation or trial.  A good attorney knows the judge and the judge’s approach to applying the law.  Even though the State of Texas only has one Family Code, the code is interpreted by the Judge.  Every judge is different and each judge has their own interpretation of the law.

Advice to people going through a divorce or modification - I tell people is do not talk to everyone about what you're going through, because quite frankly, after awhile, you get really boring and people will begin to avoid you. Then I tell people that they should immediately go into therapy to get them through this difficult period I also can assure them that if they work really, really hard, two years from now they’ll be in a much better place.

What Judges say about talking “bad” about the other parent - Also, one judge recently told me that 2’s don't marry 10’s.  The best example I'd like to give is when a woman says, "You know, I've got four kids, my husband's a drug addict, he doesn't work, he sleeps all the time and plays video games." I said to them, "I'm sorry. You chose to stay with him all these years, and have more than one child with him. The bottom line, when you go in front of the judge, how does that reflect well on your selection process?" It shows very poor judgement and common sense. People are appalled when I say that, but more than one judge told me that they picked each other and they have to live with the decisions that they have made.  For example, several years ago one mother and father got on the stand and said how bad the other parent was. The judge stopped the process and said, "Here's the bottom line. I believe both of you. I'm calling CPS and your children are immediately going into CPS (TX Children’s Protective Services) custody." I was at the courthouse that morning and the word spread like wildfire about what the judge had done in the case. That afternoon, I got a phone call from the mommy, and she and daddy were now the best of friends because their kids were in CPS custody. I said to her, "I already heard about your case and I’m not interested unless you show up in my office with $15,000 and understand that it will probably take 6 months or more to get your children back home.” She was like, "We don't have that kind of money." I said, "You guys decided to sling the mud and say how bad the other parent was, and the judge determined that you were both telling the truth so she is obligated to protect your children." These parents had to go through a lot of time, money and almost a year of being supervised by CPS and completing the CPS parenting plan (supervised visits with their children, drug tests, therapy, parenting classes, home inspections, etc.) to get their children back home. 

Reality of Family Law in Texas Courts - People don’t understand that good attorneys resolve most of their cases, if they cannot resolve their case then the attorneys go to a mediator for help in trying to settle the case.  If the mediator cannot settle the case, then the Judge hears the case.  So if you think about it, Judges see the worst of the worst of people in their county.  Judges dockets are huge and judges don’t have the time to hear every case. In reality, in the Houston area, approximately 90% of all cases are resolved without a judge ever hearing the matter.
Surprise Divorce – I have often seen one spouse has been unhappy for a long time and eventually something happens (usually it’s minor) that makes them file for divorce.  When the other spouse is served with divorce papers they are shocked because they had no idea that their marriage was in trouble.  Some people have not fought in years and often they have not even spoken to each other for a long time.  At least when people are fighting they are still attempting to communicate. 

How People should act when their relationship is ending - When spouses have children, I always encourage people to take the high road and never talk bad about their spouse to the children.  I remind people that the children are 50% of each of them and when they insult the other parent then they are also insulting the child. I encourage them to never discuss “adult business” with the child.  It is the child’s job to be their child and it is the parent’s job to act like adults and do what is in their child’s best interests.  If both parents are unhappy and the child is doing well then the parents are obviously doing something right.
I say you should always take the high road so that you can look at yourself in the mirror two years from now, so if something bad happens to the other spouse that you know you did the right thing. 

Social Media Warning - With the internet, new areas of conflict are occurring – such as social media. People post the most unbelievably damaging things on social media.  I’ve seen death threats, admissions of illegal activities, selfies of drunk people, etc. Many attorneys are now including in their legal services agreement that a person will not post anything on any social media site while the attorney represents the person. My advice, stay off of social media – especially if you have had an alcoholic beverage.

I recently did a mediation, and the wife’s alcohol consumption was an issue. The husband walks in with social media posts that had been posted within the last 24 hours.  The night before our mediation the wife and her mother posted photos of them drinking in bar.  I went to her mother and said, "You knew alcohol was a huge factor in this divorce, and the two of you were in a bar last night?" Her Mom replied "Well, we only had two or three beers." I looked at her and pulled up her Facebook page, all the photos were of the mother in bars drinking.  There were no photos of the children or anything other than bar photos.  I said, "Here's the bottom line. Every time you get drunk, you go on Facebook. Let me give you a hint. Next time you get drunk, turn off your phone."

I recently had an unusual experience at a mediation, the husband showed me his cell phone with vile text messages from the wife.  I got permission from the husband to show the wife.  (I have them in separate rooms because of domestic violence allegations.)  I show them to her, and she's like, "I never sent any of those." I said, "Well, let me see your phone." It's a different phone number. A lot of people buy burner phones, so I got my cell phone out, and I dialed the number that apparently the messages were coming from, and the guy's briefcase rang. The blood drained from the husband’s face.     

My personal story – I’m on marriage #3 so hopefully I’ve learned a few things.  I’ve also been a Texas attorney approx. 25 years and I’ve been doing family law for 20 years.  My kid's 30, and I still talk to my ex-husband all the time. We planned a wedding together – my ex, his wife and me.  After I divorced, my child was very little and we had a lot of problems. I thought getting a divorce would solve my problems, but it did not. It merely changed my problems.  So we went to therapy for 2 years.  It was the best money we could have spent.  We had to learn how to co-parent.  The counselor we to learn to co-parent.  As I tell people, if you work hard then things will get better. 
At my daughter’s high school graduation party my daughter stood up and thanked her dad and I for never putting her in the middle.  She said that she was the only child of divorced parents that was only having one graduation party – most of her friends had to have 2 parties because their parents could not be in the same room with each other.  How sad – especially for the child.

In Summary - Remember, once you have children you are never truly divorced.  You will co-parent your children and your future grand-children for the rest of your lives.  At one time, you obviously loved the other parent and now things have changed between you, but that does not mean that either of you can quit being a parent. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Adult Adoptees - repost from 9/2013

Monday, September 2, 2013
Adult Adoptees in Texas - Opening Adoption Records
Update January, 2015:

A couple of people have emailed me that the suggestions I made have not worked for them. I'm sorry if my ideas have not worked.  I opened my adoption file in 2003 and perhaps some things have changed.

I still have not found my personal adoption file.  I moved & it's probably still in a box.  I continue to look for my adoption info from 2003.

I suggest that you contact ERICA BABINO with Texas Adoption Reunion and Support of Houston for assistance.  She found her birth mother and birth father.  She likes helping people.  Her email is: ericababino@ymail.com



Original blog:

I moved over a year ago and I cannot find my file with all my information containing what I did to open my adoption file!  I've looked everywhere!  I'm hoping that I will find it soon - maybe if I quit looking it will "pop up"!

In the past 8 months, at least 5 people have called or emailed me about my old blog post regarding my journey to open my adoption record.  The blog post I am referring to is probably 7-8 years old.

Here is a quick summary of 2 of my ideas:

1.  If you are over the age of 18 the State of Texas has a Texas Central Adoption Registry for you to try to locate your birth family.  It costs $30.  Their phone number is 888-963-7111 extension 6279.  Their address is Central Adoption Registry, Department of State Health Services, P O Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347.

You can "google" this information and all the information regarding how to register for this site will show up.

Please be advised that I registered for this site over 10 years ago when I tried to find my birth family.  Due to some incorrect information, my birth family and I did not connect.  So if you and your birth family incorrect information and/or slightly different information, the employees will not connect you.  I suspect that they don't want to be held responsible for "connecting" the wrong families.  But it is certainly worth a try and it is not a lot of money.

2.  The other idea is to apply for a "Non-certified copy of your original birth certificate" for $10. This is done by writing the Department of State Health Services, Texas Vital Statistics, P O Box 12040, Austin, Texas 78711-2040.  They say on their website to allow 2 months.

You can "google" this information and read all about this birth certificate and get a copy of the forms that you will need to send into Austin.  They do ask for your adopted parents names as well as your birth mother's name.  So if you have not accessed your adoption file, you might not have this information.

Other ideas:

1.  If you had an adoption through an adoption agency, begin there.  Even though they will "black out" a lot of information.  It is the easiest place to begin.

2.  Hire a private investigator.  I did.  I am thankful that I did.  She specialized in helping adoptees. I do not have her name.  It's in the missing file.

3.  Be prepared for the worst.  I'm sure that are happy reunion stories.  Mine was not.  Another friend of mine did not have a happy one either  - she located her bio mom in a homeless shelter.
DO NOT GIVE ANY OF YOUR RELATIVES MONEY!  YOU DO NOT OWE THEM ANYTHING -- a bio mom gave me this information as I started the search for my bio family & it was good advice -- follow it!

4.  Going to Court to Opening Your Sealed Adoption Record --

I recommend hiring an attorney to help you do this!  Please don't do it on your own.

A lot of people attempt to go to court and ask a judge to open their "sealed" adoption records after they turn 18.  Even with a medical necessity, some judges do not want to open adoption records.  Judges in Texas have a lot of discretion.  Once a file is assigned to a specific court, it is impossible to get the file transferred to another court.  Therefore, if you attempt to handle this matter yourself without an attorney and the judge refuses to open the file - DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO UPSET THE JUDGE.  It will come back to haunt you in the future.

I strongly urge you to retain an attorney that knows the judge.  How do you find an attorney that knows the judge?  Great question.  This is often difficult to determine.  It must be done very discretely.  Patience is required.  Do not be a bull in a china shop.  Quietly ask around for the best lawyer to use in that judge's courtroom.

I know that you feel that you are "entitled" to see your adoption file.  Unfortunately, there are some judges do not agree with you.  In fact, they feel strongly that you are never entitled to see the file ever - no matter if you feel it is a life and death matter.  (Somehow your file might suddenly "disappear" - it could suddenly get misfiled somewhere in their voluminous court files never to be found or it might disappear in the bottom of a locked desk drawer -- you never want something like this to happen to your file because it could be "lost forever"!)

That said, there are some judges that will easily & gladly open a person's adoption file.  If  you are one of the lucky ones, count your blessings.  I only get the phone calls from the people that are hitting the brick walls.

5.  If you expect to be greeted with open arms - you probably won't be -- you might be the "secret" that no one talked about in the family!  If you were the product of a rape, an affair or incest do you really want to know?  Be sure you are prepared for the worst before you open this can of worms!  You might consider counseling before beginning this journey.

6.  I do not recommend anyone under 25 years old search out their bio parents.  I was almost 50 years old when I found my bio family.  They were really a screwed up bunch.  I'm really glad that I did not try to locate them when I was younger - they would have really played "head games" with me if I'd been younger and innocent!  I understand why judges don't want to open adoption records for people -- they are actually trying to protect you from yourselves! Additionally, many adoption agencies will only give you information after you attend some therapy sessions -- this is to insure that you are adequately prepared for what you might find out and if you can handle the possible rejection that might occur.

Good luck on your journey.  I wish you only happiness and love at the end of your trail.

Adult Adoptee Info - as of May 2016

Read my blog post of 9/2/2013 for more adult adoptee information!

Go to bottom of this page to see a bunch of websites to begin your search...

I opened my own adoption records over 13 years ago when my oncologist insisted I get my medical history when I learned I had breast cancer.

I have moved and I cannot find my file on everything I did - I keep hoping it will turn up but it's been 2 years and still missing - very frustrating!

If you were born in Texas, go the to State of Texas Department of State Health Services on-line. You can order a non-certified copy of your original birth certificate for around $10.

You can also call the Texas Department of State Health Services - they were very nice to me.

There was an adult adoptee location service that I used. Unfortunately, it did not connect me with my half-sister that was looking for me -- we were very close but both of us had some incorrect info so the agency did not match us.

There are many adult adoptee sites on the internet.  Some people have learned ways to find out info or people that will amaze you.

You can hire a skip-trace person to help you find "missing" people. If you find one with a lot of experience they won't tell you how they do it but they can find people -- even ones that are trying to hide. With the internet today it's hard to go off the radar.

Don't expect a lot of info in your adoption file. My file was very thin and did not contain a lot of information. Also, my birth parents lied a lot -- so a lot of the info was wrong! The man listed as bio dad was not bio dad -- so be prepared for anything!

There is a meet-up group on the internet called Texas Adoption and Reunion Support -- there is a Houston Texas chapter that meets on one Saturday morning each month. The group leader is Erica Babino.
Her email address is -- ericababino@ymail.com

I hope this information is helpful.

Be aware that some Texas judges will not open your sealed adoption file.

If you were adopted through an agency, there is a website to contact - even if the agency has gone out of business.

Being an adult adoptee is a journey filled with many twists and turns.  I encourage you to talk to people that have been in your shoes. Just because it worked for me does not mean that what I did will work for you - be creative and patient.  Good luck on your journey!






I "googled" Texas Adult Adoptee and here is what I found:

Warning: I have no idea who these groups are & have not visited every site listed. 

You need to try different search engines (yahoo, bing, google, etc. because each might be different.)

But I receive at least 2 calls a month from people just beginning their journey and this will be a good place to begin your searches.








  1. Adoption and Adult Adoptee Information - Texas Department ...

    https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/.../...

    Texas Department of State Health Services
    Oct 8, 2013 - General Information about adoption in Texas. ... processing time. Adult Adoptee Application for Non-Certified Copy of Original Birth Certificate.
  2. The Adoption Revolution Led by Adoptees Searching on the ...

    www.openadoption.org/bbetzen/adoptee.htm
    Here in Texas we have the Texas Coalition for Adoption Resources and Education ... Our first goal is to give adult adoptees a legal right to have a copy of their ...
  3. Resources for Adult Adoptees | Adoptionsbygladney

    adoptionsbygladney.com/.../resources-...

    The Gladney Center for Adoption
    Sep 24, 2011 - ... Your Page Too. On this page you will find resources of interest toadult adoptees: ... 6300 John Ryan Drive | Fort Worth, Texas 76132-4122.


  4. www.texaslawhelp.org is a free site & it contains lots of Texas legal information.
  5. I recommend this site. 


  6. Adult Adoptees | Texas Free Legal Forms, Law, Pro Bono ...

    texaslawhelp.org/resource/adult-adoptees?ref=3Q0Xa

    Adult Adoptees who were born in Texas can click on this link to the Texas Department of State Health Services to request a copy of their original birth certificate.
  7. Adoptees Meetups - Meetup
  8. adoptees.meetup.com/

    This group is open to all members of the adoption triad...adult adoptees, adoptive ... Welcome to the Texas Adoption Reunion and Support Group of Houston!
  9. STAR | Support Texas Adoptee Rights | Working to Restore ...

    www.texasadopteerights.org/

    We support legislation restoring to adult adoptees born in Texas, full access to their first medical record; their original, factual and unaltered certificates of birth.
  10. AAAFC A site by adoptees, for adoptees.

    www.adultadoptees.org/

    Feb 9, 2015 - Is this why it's often so hard for reunions to work for both sides with us caught in the middle even as adults? Because the arents are given first ...
  11. Adult Adoptees in Texas - Opening Adoption Records - Fran ...

    houstonmediator.blogspot.com/.../adult-adoptees-in-texas-opening.html

    Sep 2, 2013 - Adult Adoptees in Texas - Opening Adoption Records. Update January, 2015: A couple of people have emailed me that the suggestions I made ...
  12. Adoption group supports bill to access original birth certificates

    kxan.com/.../adoption-group-pushing-for-access-to-original-...

    KXAN‑TV
    Jan 19, 2015 - He is part of the nonprofit Adoption Knowledge Affiliates, which supportsadult adoptees from Texas to be able to easily get their hands on ...
  13. Adoptee Rights | Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/AdopteeRightsCoalition
    Support Texas Adoptee Rights STAR is heading to the capitol today for .... 352, which if passed would give adult adoptees from Indiana's “closed records” period ...
  14. Forum | AAAFC

    adultadoptees.org/index.html/?page_id=23

    Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change is an adoptee-centered support forum. This forum was created by adoptees, and is owned, administered and moderated ...
  15. Forum - AAAFC

    www.adultadoptees.org/forum/

    Adult Adoptees.Org is an adoptee-centric support forum. We strive to meet the needs of the adoptee first with support, understanding, friendship and more than a ...
  16. AAAFC A site by adoptees, for adoptees.

    www.adultadoptees.org/

    Feb 9, 2015 - Once we are adults, it seems so wrong to still have to carry the original ..... to join the forum so that she could hopefully help her adopted son to ...
  17. Adult Adoptees - Adoption.com Forums

    forums.adoption.com/adult-adoptees/

    Adult Adoptees - Find support and encouragement for issues concerning adult adoptees.
  18. Adoptee Support - Adoption.com Forums

    forums.adoption.com/adoptee-support/
    ... Needs & Attachment Forums · Search & Reunion Forums · Adult Adoptees Forums· Birth Parents Forums ... Threads in Forum : Adoptee Support, Forum Tools ...
  19. Adoption family tree search. Adopted? Find birth parents.

    adoption.com/adoptee

    I'm an adoptee searching for a birth family member. ... FORUMS ... I am an adult adoptee, aged 55, who found my birth family 5 years ago, unfortunately too late ...
  20. POSITIVE Adult Adoptee Support (birth, options, parents, stories ...

    www.city-data.com › ... › General Forums › Parenting › Adoption
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10 posts - ‎8 authors
    Any adult adoptees who feel their lives have been positively influenced by adoption please post your stories here. Adoption can be a Blessing.
  21. I Was Adopted | Group with Personal Stories, Forums and ...

    www.experienceproject.com/groups/Was-Adopted/173

    Were You Adopted? Join 3403 friendly people sharing 736 true stories in the I WasAdopted group. Find forums, advice and chat with groups who share this life ...
  22. [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: When an adoptee says: I'm not ...

    www.firstmotherforum.com/.../when-adoptee-says-im-not-interested-in.h...

    Feb 26, 2014 - As late as 1960, some forty percent of the states still had laws on the books recognizing "an unrestricted right of adult adoptees to inspect their ...
  23. AAAFC A site by adoptees, for adoptees.

    www.adultadoptees.org/

    Feb 9, 2015 - Once we are adults, it seems so wrong to still have to carry the original lie around if .... The first hit on a Google search for adoptee support is often ... how lucky and grateful they were, like it was part of the culture of the group.
  24. Adult Adoptees Resources - Band Back Together

    www.bandbacktogether.com/adult-adoptees-resources/

    Joining Support Groups - local, national and international support groups exist foradult adoptees everywhere. These support groups are a wonderful place to ...
  25. Adult Adoptees « Center for Adoption Support and Education

    adoptionsupport.or...

    Center for Adoption Support and Education C.A.S.E.
    Adult Adoptees. In the adoption community, we say “Adoption is a lifelong journey.” Being adopted can have a significant impact on a person's life at any age.
  26. 10 Things Adoptees Want You to Know | Lesli Johnson

    www.huffingtonpost.com/.../adoption_b_2161590.h...

    The Huffington Post
    Jan 11, 2013 - Only eight states in the U.S. allow adult adoptees access to their ... can find connection through support groups, interaction with other adoptees ...
  27. Services-Adoption-Post Adoption - Catholic Charities of the ...

    https://www.catholiccharities.org/services/services-adoption-post-adoption

    Adult Adoptee and Birthmother Search Services. Counseling. Birth parent support group. Search and Reunion Support Group. Adoption Day Camp (ages 6-12 ...
  28. Texas Adoption Reunion and Support of Houston ... - Meetup

    www.meetup.com/DFW-Adoption-Reunion-and-Support/.../204594072/

    Oct 11, 2014 - Welcome to the Texas Adoption Reunion and Support Group of Houston! We are a diverse group of adult adoptees, birthparents and adoptive ...
  29. Adoptees Meetups - Meetup

    adoptees.meetup.com/

    Welcome to the Texas Adoption Reunion and Support Group of Houston! We are a diverse group of adult adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents who are ...
  30. [PDF]Support Groups - American Adoption Congress

    www.americanadoptioncongress.org/.../SUPPORT%20GROUP%20LIST...

    Apr 4, 2012 - Support Groups. 1. Last Updated on April 4, 2012. ALABAMA. Birth Parents/Adult Adoptees Group. Birmingham, AL. Audrey Derevenko, LCSW.










  31. Adoption Support Group: Young Adult Adoptees - Adoptive ...

    www.adoptivefamiliescircle.com › Groups

    Home > Groups > Young Adult Adoptees. National Adoption Directory. Find an Adoption Agency. By Country, U.S., Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan ...

  32. This is an article from the website 
  33. www.texaslegalhelp.org
  34. look under "family" and click adoption link -- 
  35. Lots of info on this website including suggested forms!

  36. HOW TO REQUEST ADOPTION RECORDS IN TEXAS 

  37. In Texas, courts must seal adoption records. But sometimes, people can show good reasons why the records should be opened to them. Only the adopted child or an immediate relative to the adopted child can ask for access to the sealed records. The request, called an Application, should be filed with the District Clerk in the county where the adoption took place. You must sign the Application in front of a notary. Because the release of adoption information has long been considered a highly emotional issue, the Court may require you to undergo counseling before the records are released to you. Depending on circumstances in your case, the Court may order that the records be released to an Adoption Intermediary, who can pursue contact with other parties on your behalf. If the Court orders that an Intermediary be appointed in your case, you will be responsible for the Intermediary’s fees The judge will usually honor your request to have a specific counselor or intermediary appointed. It is a good idea to have discussed fees with a counselor or intermediary, and have one in mind before you go to see the judge. You will also be responsible for any fees associated with copying the sealed records in your case. When you complete your Application, be as specific as you can be in explaining why you need access to the sealed records. After you complete the Application and Order, make a copy for your records. File the original in the county where the adoption took place. Ask the clerk how to set a hearing for your Application. In some counties, you may be able to see a judge the same day you file your Application. This is not possible in all counties. When your case is called before the judge, walk up to the judge’s bench. Stand close enough for the judge to hear you. Remember not to lean against the judge’s bench. The judge will swear you in, asking you to tell the truth, and then ask you some questions about your situation. Be prepared to answer the judge in a courteous, honest, and respectful manner. After the judge has heard your testimony and reviewed your case, s/he will make a decision about whether or not you can have access to the information you requested. If the judge grants your request, and allows the information to be released directly to you, ask the District Clerk to make a certified copy of the order you have requested, along with a certified copy of the Order Regarding Access to Termination and Adoption Records. If the judge allows you to have access through an Intermediary, you will have to contact the Intermediary. You should ask the District Clerk to make a certified copy of the Order Regarding Access to Termination and Adoption Records to give to the Intermediary. You might want to make a copy for yourself, as well. The Clerk’s office usually charges a fee for certified copies. 

  38. Keep in mind, the judge might tell you s/he can’t give you access to the records. The judge has sole discretion to decide whether or not you are entitled access to the records.