Texas Penal Code § 25.081. Unregulated Custody Transfer of Adopted Child

(a) In this section:

(1) “Adopted child” means a person younger than 18 years of age who was legally adopted through a governmental entity or through private means, including a person who is in foster care or from a foreign country at the time of the adoption.

(2) “Unregulated custody transfer” means the transfer of the permanent physical custody of an adopted child by the parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the child without receiving approval of the transfer by a court as required by Section 162.026, Family Code .

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly:

(1) conducts an unregulated custody transfer of an adopted child;  or

(2) facilitates or participates in the unregulated custody transfer of an adopted child, including by transferring, recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, soliciting, or obtaining an adopted child for that purpose.

(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the actor commits the offense with intent to commit an offense under Section 20A.02 , 43.02 , 43.05 , 43.25 , 43.251 , or 43.26 .

(d) This section does not apply to:

(1) the placement of an adopted child with a licensed child-placing agency, the Department of Family and Protective Services, or an adult relative, stepparent, or other adult with a significant and long-standing relationship to the child;

(2) the placement of an adopted child by a licensed child-placing agency or the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(3) the temporary placement of an adopted child by the child's parent, managing conservator, or guardian for a designated short-term period with a specified intent and period for return of the child due to temporary circumstances, including:

(A) a vacation;

(B) a school-sponsored function or activity;  or

(C) the incarceration, military service, medical treatment, or incapacity of the parent, managing conservator, or guardian;

(4) the placement of an adopted child in another state in accordance with the requirements of Subchapter B, Chapter 162, Family Code;  or

(5) the voluntary delivery of an adopted child under Subchapter D, Chapter 262, Family Code.


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