Adoption Lawyer in The Woodlands

Welcoming a new member into your household through adoption can be exhilarating. However, the process can be daunting, confusing, and time-consuming as well. Don’t fret though, Bolton Law will pair you with an adoption lawyer in The Woodlands that will help you comprehend the steps, requirements, and everything in between.

Our adoption and family law attorneys specialize in this field and have been in the industry for years. Call us today at 281-351-7897 to initiate the process.

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How Do I Start the Adoption Process?

Given the complexity and significance of adoption, it is usually best to consult a lawyer as they will guide you on how to go about the process. Your attorney will first ensure that you meet the requirements for adoption in Texas.

Before you initiate the process, ensure you communicate the decision with your partner, trusted friend, mentor, or therapist. Your decision will affect the child’s life in a number of ways, and so, it’s wise to have another perspective.

You’ll also want to decide on the type of adoption. Common forms of adoption include independent adoptions, identified adoptions, open adoptions, agency adoptions, foster care adoptions, facilitated adoptions, and international adoptions.

A trusted adoption lawyer in The Woodlands should be able to take you through each and help you make an informed decision.

How Do I Choose the Best Adoption Lawyer?

Adoption law is a specialty and so, not all family lawyers will be adequately equipped to oversee and finalize the process. In order to pick the right lawyer, consider the following:

  • Past Experience – Ask if the lawyer has experience in the type of adoption you want, how many they have overseen and how recently. You want a lawyer that’s knowledgeable and abreast with the kind of adoption process you wish to initiate.
  • Licensing & Client Rating – Check whether they are licensed to operate the state of Texas. You can also seek recommendations from local adoptive parents and ask whether they were satisfied with the legal services. Ensure you check the lawyer’s reviews online as well.
  • The Adoption Costs – You’ll want to know who helps guide you in reasonable adoption fees, what’s legal, and what’s paid to whom and when.

What Are the Phases of Adoption?

While the adoption journey differs for everyone, most adoptions follow the same fundamental steps. In Texas, the adoption process steps are as follows:

Complete the Home Study

Regardless of the adoption type, you’re required to complete the home study. This is a pre-adoptive step process that assesses your physical, emotional, mental, and financial preparation for adoption. This is conducted to determine whether the children will be living in a safe, loving, and caring household.

Wait

Most people consider this to be the toughest phase in the adoption process. Following the home study, there will be an array of things to do such as completing an adoption profile, attending training, or meeting other requirements depending on the kind of adoption you are pursuing. This is then followed by a test of patience, as you have to wait for a match.

The waiting duration will vary, mostly depending on the type of the adoption of children you pick in the state of Texas. Even so, there is no sure way to determine how long you’ll need to wait before you get the right match. It might be days, weeks, months, or even a year (often the case for international adoptions).

Agree to an Adoption Opportunity

Your adoption lawyer will contact you and present an adoption opportunity. In this phase, you will get some preliminary details, allowing you to take the next step.

In the case of domestic infant adoption, this step means the birth mother has picked you after going through your adoptive family profile. In the case of foster care adoption in Texas, however, it means that the young one is ready to be put in your home.

Regardless, this is usually an exhilarating stage.

Pre-Placement Contact

This adoption phase is exclusive to domestic infant adoption. It is an extremely important stage though. One of the unique benefits of adopting a baby in the state of Texas through a private agency is the potential for open adoption or semi-open adoption.

Once you agree to an opportunity, you will have the chance to know the prospective birth mother before, during, and even after adoption. In fact, over 95% of adoptions in the state today are open.

Openness may sound scary at first glance, but it’s highly encouraged. Studies show it’s not only beneficial to both parties, but to the child in the long term.

Placement

This is the moment you have been waiting for since you initiated adoption. Placement differs depending on your form adoption. In foster care, most parents will welcome their child into their household, usually after a meeting.

In domestic infant adoption, placement often happens at the hospital, after the birth mother has legally provided their consent. In an international adoption situation, the parents go to the child’s place of birth for the initial meeting and go back home after completing the necessary legal steps.

Getting placement is an exciting and life-changing experience, but the adoption process does not end there.

Woman and adopted son, concept of adoption lawyer in The Woodlands Texas

Finalization & the Journey Ahead

Even after welcoming the child to your home, there’s an array of post-placement requirements that you need to complete. Approximately 6 months after placement, you are required to attend a finalization hearing at the local courthouse.

At this stage, the judge will go through all of the documentation to ensure everything is completed under the state’s adoption law. If so, you will get the final decree of adoption, officially confirming the child as the legal and permanent member of your family.

Keep in mind, however, that adoption is not a one-time thing, and will always be an ongoing process.

Do I Have to Be Wealthy to Adopt?

When people think about adopting in Texas, one of the primary questions that come to mind is, ‘’Do I have to be rich to adopt?’’ At face value, the simple answer is No! Adoption doesn’t require an individual to be rich. Adoption through foster care, for instance, is relatively affordable and in some cases, free.

Of course, money is necessary for all the child’s needs, but you do not have to be rich to do so, as long as you are a good financial manager. Even so, there are some cases where being wealthy is necessary in order to be a decent adoptive family. Our adoption lawyers will be able to advise whether you can afford the type of adoption you wish to pursue.

What Are the Adoption Costs in Texas?

Adoption costs range, depending on an array of things, primarily the type. It also depends on whether you go through the process using an adoption agency or an adoption lawyer. The latter tends to be cheaper. In addition to the two, there are also the legal fees, cost of filing the necessary paperwork, medical expenses, etc.

Simply put, the total financial cost of adoption varies widely depending on the form of adoption and the process itself.

Here are some rough estimates of the basic costs of adoption:

  • Adopting an older child is the least expensive, often totaling a few thousand dollars to cover legal expenses and the required paperwork.
  • Adopting an infant is more expensive compared to an older child, with the cost averaging between $40,000 and $45,000.
  • International adoptions are the most expensive, with the cost of the entire process ranging between $25,000 and $50,000.

How Long Does the Adoption Process Take?

This one has no definite answer as well. Each adoption is different. Your situation, details of the prospective birth mother, and the adoption lawyer will all contribute to how long the adoption process will take.

While this sounds vague, that is the unfortunate truth. On average, it takes adoption processes in Texas 6 to 12 months to complete.

How Long Until the Adoption Process Is Finalized?

In the state of Texas, finalization for almost every adoption case is done 6 months following placement.

Will the Adopted Child Know About Their Birth Family?

This depends on the type of adoption, their needs, and circumstances. However, when they turn 18, they have the right to ask about their birth family and make direct contact with them if they wish.

Can a Mother Revoke Her Consent to Adoption?

Texas allows a set period of time for the mother to revoke consent to adoption, usually 30 days after signing the consent forms. The judge will then decide whether reversing adoption is the best decision, especially for the child.

Hire an Adoption Lawyer in The Woodlands Today!

Adoption is usually a personal and emotional process. The team at Bolton Law wants you to feel comfortable with who you pick during the time-consuming and stressful process. We want you to meet our team and understand what we have to offer. At the end of the day, you will be able to tell whether we are a good pick for you and your loved ones.

Call us today at 281-351-7897 to get started!