Adopting a new member into your family is a uniquely exciting experience. While it can be easy to get caught up in that excitement there are still some things you should be aware of and prepare for before you begin this process.
Our Houston adoption lawyers want to guide and support you throughout this challenging yet rewarding process. Our family attorneys have handled many adoption cases and could work hard to make sure that this process goes smoothly for both you and the child you are adopting. Our team seeks to help prospective parents find a loving, caring home for a child.
While the Texas Family Code does not list specific conditions adoptive parents must meet, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services does establish a number of basic requirements for both foster and adoptive parents. Essentially, these requirements boil down to being a financially stable and responsible adult at least 21 years of age who is willing to provide employment information, submit to a background check, and participate in a home study.
Additionally, state law has explicit guidelines for when a child is legally eligible to be adopted. One of the most important requirements is that the child’s biological parents legally terminate their parent-child relationship before or as the adoption takes place. A child’s birth mother can elect to voluntarily terminate her rights 48 hours after her child’s birth, and a birth father, if parenthood has been established, can do the same at any time prior to his child’s birth. A Houston attorney could help a prospective parent determine if they are eligible to pursue the adoption process and assist with any challenges that may arise.
Once the adoptive parent(s) and a child’s birth parents fulfill all the requirements to make an adoption legal, the adoptive parent(s) must go through various screenings and studies that determine whether they are capable of caring for the best interests of the child they intend to adopt. Prospective parents may be subject to home evaluations, personal interviews, criminal background checks, and observations of their relationship with the prospective adoptee.
The child to be adopted may also be subject to evaluation that could provide important information about the child’s health and genetic history, level of education, and special needs. One of our caring Houston lawyers could discuss this adoption screening process in further detail during a confidential consultation.
Adopting a child is a thrilling and immensely consequential life decision, and you certainly have every right to be both excited and anxious if you are considering it. That being said, it is generally a good idea to seek legal representation sooner rather than later during this process, as even a small procedural mistake could significantly delay your adoption or even prevent it from happening at all.
A knowledgeable Houston adoption lawyer is available to answer all your questions and help you on the way toward expanding your family and giving a child a loving home. Call today to set up a meeting.