Houston Adoption Attorney: Bringing Families Together
Adoption is a wonderful way to add a member to your nuclear family. A compassionate and professional Houston adoption attorney can navigate you through the confusing and lengthy adoption process.
Texas law requires a person to meet certain criteria before they may be eligible to adopt. The person must show the court they are financially stable, responsible, and have completed a home study. The person must also undergo a criminal background check, including abuse and neglect checks. Moreover, if a person is married, that person’s spouse must also consent to the adoption.
A family law attorney is basically essential throughout the adoption process. At the Law Office of Ashley J. Scott, we enjoy bringing families together and are equipped to handle all types of adoption cases, including private, same-sex, step parent, international, and domestic private and public agency adoptions.
If you personally know a parent who will voluntarily relinquish parental rights for the benefit of the child, you may arrange for a private adoption. A Suit to terminate the parent child relationship and an adoption petition may be filed simultaneously. It is illegal for a birth parent to be paid to give their child up for adoption. Private adoptions are completed without the assistance of an agency.
Step Parent Adoption
The most common type of adoption is a step-parent adoption. In this case, a child is adopted by the birth parent’s spouse. Most step parent adoptions take place because the natural parent is unknown, is deceased, or the absent parent believes that the adoption is in the child’s best interest and willingly gives consent.
The rights of the absent parent must be terminated before the courts can approve the adoption. Both the adoptive and the biological parent may share rights to the child if all parties agree to it.
Once the adoption is finalized, the step parent will be legally responsible for the child and will become an equal parent under the eyes of the law. The child will be issued a new birth certificate to reflect the adoption.
Same Sex Adoptions
LGBT individuals and couples have the full right to adopt in Texas. There are two basic types of adoptions for same-sex couples: where a partner adopts the legal child of his/her spouse and where a couple or individual wishes to adopt a child.
In one type of adoption, the child is adopted without terminating the legal parents’ rights or responsibilities. In essence, you are formally adding another parent to your family.
With joint adoptions, a couple adopts a child and assumes equal legal and financial responsibility to the child. This will establish the parent-child relationship with regard to both parties and the child.
Domestic Private and Public Agency Adoptions
If you would like to adopt domestically, chances are you are using a public or private adoption agency to help you find the right match for your family.
Private agencies tend to work with birth parents to help them find a comfortable home for their child. The amount of control that birth parents have in selecting the adoptive parents depends on the agency; some agencies receive no input from the birth parents whereas other agencies allow for birth parents to be very involved in the placement of their child. Private agencies may also have additional requirements than the ones stipulated by the state.
Parents also have the option to adopt directly from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or work with an organization that collaborates with DFPS. Many of these children are in foster care and desperately need a stable home. Potential adoptive parents are required by the state to complete training classes before they are eligible to adopt. Adopting through a public agency is generally less expensive than adopting through a private agency. Many of these children may also be eligible to receive financial aid for health care, mental health services, and educational expenses.
As a Houston adoption attorney, it is my desire to help you create the nuclear family you have envisioned. Contact Ashley J. Scott, at 713-255-2097 to learn more about adoption in the state of Texas.