Adoption Process in Texas
Welcoming a new member into the family via adoption is an exciting time for families. However, the adoption process can be challenging and confusing. Palacios, Garza & Thompson, P.C. can help you and your family members with the legal adoptions of both children and adults. If you want to adopt a child, we can help make that dream a reality. We will provide you information necessary to determine if you meet the Texas Family Code requirements for an adoption and help you formalize your new family structure.
The most common form of adoption in the state of Texas is a step-parent adoption. A step-parent adoption of a step-child creates a permanent and legal parent-child relationship; in the eyes of the law it is as if the stepparent is a biological parent. This means that even if the step-parent and biological parent were to be divorced, the parent-child relationship would survive between the step-parent and the child.
For any sort of adoption to occur, first one of the biological parent’s rights must be terminated. This is possible when a biological parent has either voluntarily relinquished their rights or the parental rights of a parent have been terminated by the State due to abandonment, abuse/neglect or being deemed as an unfit parent. Your adoption attorney can further explain any questions you may have about these requirements. Termination of one’s parental rights is taken very seriously by the Courts so there must be good cause for a parent’s rights to be terminated or relinquished if the termination is not voluntary.
Before an adoption may be granted, your lawyer must ensure that certain requirements are met. The Texas Family Code requires that the child must have lived with the proposed adoptive parent for at least six months before an adoption can be finalized. A child over the age of 12 must consent to the adoption. A step-parent adoption also requires that the married couple must both participate in filing the petition for adoption. The prospective parents must provide a copy of their criminal records to the court. A home study must also be completed before a judge can approve an adoption. Only once all of these requirements have been satisfied may your lawyer move forward to finalize your adoption. It is critical to hire an attorney familiar with adoptions to ensure that every requirement is completed.
Need an experienced Texas adoption attorney? For more information contact us today!