In many cases, a person seeking to adopt a child is a relative or step-parent who wishes to solidify a parental relationship with the child. While an adoption is an emotional event, it also has legal consequences, and it is important to ensure that the process is handled correctly. If you are considering adopting your step-child or another child in your family, you should speak with a Dallas Fort Worth adoption lawyer regarding the process and the implications of your decision. At Powell Law Offices, we take pride in guiding people through the process of adding to their family through the adoption of a child. We assist people in adoption cases in cities throughout Dallas and Tarrant Counties.Step-Parent Adoption
In many cases, the parents of a child will divorce or end their relationship and begin new relationships with other partners. If either parent subsequently gets married, the parent’s new spouse will often wish to adopt the child. Although the desire to take on a parental role in a child’s life may be straightforward, step-parent adoptions can be complicated.
In Texas, in order for a step-parent to adopt a child, both the step-parent and the parent spouse must file a petition for adoption. If the other parent of the child is alive, and there has not been a court-ordered termination of the other parent's parental rights, the parties pursuing a step-parent adoption must file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship along with the petition for adoption. In some cases, the other parent will voluntarily consent to terminate his or her parental rights, which is typically done via an application for relinquishment. If the other parent of the child is deceased or no longer has parental rights, however, only an adoption petition is required. Our adoption attorneys can help Dallas Fort Worth residents complete the necessary documents.
If the child whom the step-parent seeks to adopt is 12 or older, the child generally must consent to the adoption. Furthermore, in most cases, the child must reside with the step-parent for at least six months prior to the adoption. If the parent and the step-parent meet these requirements and the other requirements for adopting a child set forth under the Texas Family Code, and the court finds that the adoption would be in the child’s best interests, the court may grant the adoption. In evaluating whether an adoption is in the best interests of a child, the court will look at several factors, including whether it will benefit the child’s emotional and physical development.Adoption by Grandparents and Other Relatives
Grandparents and other relatives frequently seek to adopt children in their families as well. Generally, for any relative to adopt a child, the parental rights of both of the child's parents must be terminated. A relative of a child may file a suit to adopt the child with the assistance of a Dallas Fort Worth adoption attorney if they have had control and possession of the child for 30 days prior to petitioning for adoption or for at least two months in the prior three-month period. Additionally, the court may allow a grandparent or another relative to adopt a child if it determines that the grandparent or relative has had sufficient contact with the child in the past to warrant standing to adopt the child. As with a step-parent adoption, a person seeking to adopt a child must meet residency and consent requirements. The court can waive the requirements, however, if it finds that doing so is in the child’s best interests.Speak with an Experienced Dallas Fort Worth Attorney Regarding Your Family Needs
An adoption is an emotional undertaking that can benefit both a child and a parent. If you wish to adopt a child into your family, it is wise to speak with an experienced lawyer regarding your options. At Powell Law Offices, we will work diligently to help you pursue your goals. We have offices in Grapevine and McKinney, and our adoption lawyers assist people in Dallas Fort Worth and other cities in Dallas and Tarrant Counties. We can be contacted through our form online or at (972) 584-9382 to set up a free and confidential meeting.