Child adoption is a rewarding process for everyone involved. Adopting a child improves the lives of the entire family, including the adoptive parents and siblings.
There are various types of adoption in Texas. The adoption procedure can be complex and expensive irrespective of the type of adoption. However, the lengthy procedure should not discourage anyone from participating in this rewarding experience.
Working with an adoption attorney in The Woodlands will ensure your case moves swiftly and efficiently. Read on to explore the different types of adoption in Texas.
Private Adoption in Texas
Texas laws offer various paths to adopting a child. Private child adoptions happen between a birth parent or family and the adoptive family. These adoptions are often facilitated by an adoption lawyer or authorized adoption agency.
There are two types of private adoptions: open adoptions and closed adoptions.
During open adoptions, the adoptive and biological parents meet, and the adoption is finalized with the help of attorneys or an adoption agency. Although the birth parent usually remains in the child’s life after an open adoption, this is not always the case.
The adoptive and biological parents prefer not to meet each other during a closed adoption. The agency maintains strict confidentiality over all material provided to it, including the identities of anyone involved.
Child Protective Services (CPS) and Foster Care Adoptions
Child Protective Services can also supervise adoptions. Children in these adoptions have been removed from their previous homes because their parents lost their parental rights. Neglect, abuse, or abandonment are common causes of termination of parental rights.
The child is temporarily placed with a foster home after CPS successfully petitions the court to terminate parental rights. A child may be permanently placed with a family in certain circumstances.
Prospective parents must meet various criteria to adopt through CPS.
- Parents must be at least 21 years old.
- Parents must be in good physical and mental health.
- Parents must pass a criminal background check.
- Parents must have the financial means to support the child.
- The adoptive parents must be married for at least two years if married.
It is essential to note that marriage isn’t a requirement.
Stepparent Adoption in Texas
Even though stepparent adoptions are not like other types of adoptions, it is crucial for every stepparent to understand what is expected of them. Stepparent adoptions can be very straightforward because of the preexisting bond between the adoptee and the stepparent.
But having a stepchild does not mean you are immediately eligible for adoption. The refusal of a biological parent to terminate parental rights is one of many potential complications with stepparent adoptions.
A stepparent cannot proceed with adoption until a biological parent waives their rights or a court rules that they should be waived. Adopting a stepchild can be far more divisive than other types of adoptions. Many biological parents are hesitant to give up their parental rights.
If you want the adoption process to go smoothly in Texas, you should consult an adoption attorney immediately.
Close relatives like grandparents, aunts, and uncles usually step in when a child’s biological parents are unable to care for them. However, the parental rights of one or both parents must be terminated before an adoption. But you may still be eligible to adopt the child legally if they have been living with you as your primary caregiver for an extended period.
The courts must determine whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest. Contact our adoption attorneys if you have questions regarding whether or not the termination of parental rights may affect your adoption case.
The term “international adoption” refers to the process of adopting a child or children from another country. Adoptions across international borders are among the most challenging for obvious reasons.
The first step in international adoption is usually contacting an adoption agency in the country where the child lives. International adoption agencies usually ask prospective parents to make multiple trips to the country before they are deemed suitable parents.
A child born outside of the United States will also need a visa to enter the country. The visa application process alone can be incredibly challenging and discouraging for parents seeking to adopt internationally. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption must also be followed for any international adoption to be legal.
Understanding the Termination of Parental Rights
All forms of adoption require the biological parents to legally terminate their parental rights. Child adoption by a relative or stepparent may be granted if one biological parent consents to the adoption or if the adoptive parent has provided continuous care for a certain period.
An adoptive family may decide it’s best to adopt a child, but the child’s biological parents are unwilling to relinquish their parental rights. In this case, an experienced adoption attorney can mediate a settlement or litigate the matter on their behalf.
What to Expect During the Adoption Process in Texas
Depending on the type, adoption may be a complex and lengthy process with legal obstacles and emotional heartbreak if things don’t go as planned. If you’re looking to start a family through adoption, you should consult with a lawyer.
Adoption attorneys can help with home studies, parental rights termination, matching, and other legal processes.
Whether you’re looking to adopt a kid through a private agency or are an adoption relative or stepchild, we can help you through the process.
Contact Our Adoption Attorneys in The Woodlands, TX!
Family law is Bolton Law’s primary focus, so we have the experience to help with cases like adoption. We tailor our strategies to each client and are always here to help maximize your success chances.
If you live in or near The Woodlands or Tomball, Texas, and are considering expanding your family through adoption, you should speak with an attorney. Our skilled lawyers at Bolton Law can help ensure a seamless adoption process.
Please schedule a consultation to get more information about adoptions in Texas by calling 281-843-9268 or visiting our website.