Are you considering adoption but not sure where to start? If you’re a Texas resident, you may have a few options for adopting your new family member, including:
- Private adoption
- Relative adoption
- Stepparent adoption
- Foster care adoption
The type of adoption depends on your circumstances. Are you adopting a child you already care for or are you looking for a match through an agency or foster care? Adopting a child is a monumental decision, and the process involves much more than signing a few papers.
Our skilled adoption lawyers at Youngblood Law, PLLC., have helped many prospective parents adopt over the years. We are deeply familiar with the legal requirements of the adoption process in Texas, and we’re well-positioned to help you bring your family together in the way you envision. Keep reading to understand these different types of adoption available in Texas so you can anticipate what you may encounter along your journey.
Private adoption is the most common option for families looking to adopt an infant. Typically, you (as the adoptive parent) will work with an adoption agency approved by the Texas Residential Child Care Licensing (RCCL) department. Once you choose an agency, they will conduct a home study and begin looking for potential matches for adoption.
Private adoption agencies provide options for both domestic and international adoption. The laws may differ for international adoption procedures, so having an experienced adoption attorney in your corner can help you stay on top of the legal requirements.
In some cases, relatives such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles take over a child’s care when their biological parents are unable or unwilling to take responsibility. Normally, one or both parents need to terminate parental rights before an adoption is possible. However, if the child has been in your primary care for a significant amount of time, you may still be able to adopt them legally.
Adopting a child with or without parental consent requires the court to decide whether it is in the child’s best interest. Contact our adoption lawyers to learn more about the termination of parental rights and how it can be a legal hurdle for adoption.
Stepparent adoption is a big step for a blended family. The process starts with you and your spouse petitioning for the adoption and having the biological parent without custody terminate their parental rights. If the child is over 12 years old, you’ll also need their consent before you can adopt them.
Sometimes former stepparents can adopt a child after providing care for at least 6-12 months before filing for adoption. The requirements depend on whether one or both biological parents have terminated their parental rights. You may need to go to court with the help of an adoption attorney.
Foster Care Adoption
Adopting through foster care is possibly the most challenging route to adoption, though perhaps the most rewarding. Most children in foster care will be older kids who came from high-risk environments where they experienced abuse or neglect. Whether you are the foster parent or adopting a child out of foster care, there could be a significant waiting period before the adoption is possible.
The court will require background information on the child and the adoptive parents, including records on the child’s health and education and a criminal history report on the parents seeking the adoption.
Termination of Parental Rights
The termination of parental rights by the biological parents is necessary for all types of adoptions. The court might grant the adoption for relatives and stepparents if only one biological parent terminated their rights or if the adoptive parent cared for the child for a specific time.
Suppose a biological parent refuses to terminate their rights despite the adoption being in the child’s best interest. A skilled adoption lawyer could then help you to reach an agreement through mediation, or they could take the parent to trial if necessary.
What to Expect During the Adoption Process in Texas
Depending on the type of adoption, it can be a very lengthy process with possible legal complications and heartache if things don’t work out how you had hoped. Working with an experienced adoption attorney can help you to chart a smooth path toward growing your family. At Youngblood Law, PLLC., we help our clients through the steps of adoption, including:
- Home studies
- Matching and placement
- Terminating parental rights
- Other legal requirements
Whether you go through a private agency for adoption or seek to adopt a relative or stepchild, we can discuss your options and assist you with the paperwork. Rather than search for “adoption lawyers near me” in the Fort Worth area, reach out to us to schedule an initial consultation and discuss expectations and concerns for your particular situation.
Youngblood Law: Definitive, Decisive, Dedicated Texas Family Adoption Lawyers
At Youngblood Law, PLLC., our focus is Family Law, meaning we have specific knowledge that qualifies us to assist with matters like adoption. To increase your chances of success, we approach each case with the client’s unique situation in mind, and we’re always available when you need us. We identify distinct opportunities and strategies for your case. This is how we do Family Law.
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