Sale or Purchase of a Child in Fort Worth

The sale or purchase of a child statute in Fort Worth punishes several different types of conduct. First, if a person who has possession of, custody of, conservatorship of, or guardianship of a child (a person under the age of 18) accepts something of value in exchange for the delivery of the child to another for the purpose of adopting, this may be a violation of the law. (There are exceptions to this, which will be discussed further below.)

Second, if a person in possession or lawful custody, conservatorship, or guardianship of a child offers to accept, or agrees to accept a thing of value in exchange for the child, this mere discussion can result in charges of the sale or purchase of the child. This can be true even where no money or thing of value is exchanged. Finally, if a person offers to give, agrees to give, or does give a thing of value in exchange for either acquiring or keeping a child for the purpose of adoption, this can be a criminal offense. See Penal Code Section 25.08.

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Exceptions to Sale or Purchase

There are certain exceptions to offering things of value that are permissible under the law. These include the following:

  • A fee or reimbursement paid to a child placing agency, where authorized by law;
  • Fees to attorneys, social workers, and other professionals in the usual course of legal, medical, or adoption counseling practice;
  • Reimbursement of legal or medical expenses for the benefit of the child; or
  • Necessary pregnancy related expenses as permitted by law.

Punishments in Fort Worth for the Sale or Purchase of a Minor

Sale or Purchase of a child in Fort Worth is a felony in the third degree in most circumstances, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, and a prison sentence of up to 10 years in prison, with a minimum sentence of two years.

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