Adoption is the legal process to replace one or both birth parents of a child. Unless one of the parents has died, a termination of that parent’s rights must take place before the child can be adopted.
A step-parent adoption occurs when one parent’s rights have been terminated, and the remaining parent has remarried. A grandparent adoption or a private adoption is possible when both parents’ rights have been terminated.
In Texas, any adult, single or married, may be eligible to adopt a child. The legal aspects of the adoption can be readily managed through an experienced private attorney. The attorneys at the Hammerle Finley Law Firm have been involved in adoptions for the past 3 decades.
An adoption is started by filing a petition with a district court. The court will order a pre-adoptive social study and a post-placement social study. If it is not a step-parent adoption, the court will also order the preparation of a health, social, educational and genetic history, and that the adopting parent submit a criminal history report.
If the child is over the age of 12, then the child must consent to the adoption. This requirement can be waived by the court in some circumstances.
Finally, a hearing before the judge is required. Usually this is a ceremonial event, where entire families attend.
If you are interested in pursuing an adoption, contact us.