Adopting a baby or child can be one of the best days of your life, but the days leading up to the adoption can be stressful and filled with the unknown. Because emotions can run high during the adoption process, it’s important to have a knowledgeable Austin adoption attorney by your side.
We understand the importance of listening to each client, understanding their goals and needs, and explaining the adoption laws and procedures so everyone is on the same page.
Adoption is an incredible process that can get highly emotional and quickly overwhelming, which is why having the best attorney by your side is best for everyone involved.
At our law office, we work with two types of adoptions:
In both situations, you need a qualified Austin adoption attorney to help you navigate the laws and to ensure the welfare of the child.
Step-parent adoptions occur when one biological parent terminates their relationship with their child and a step parent legally adopts the child. This isn’t the same thing as one parent remarrying and having a step-parent, but instead is when one parent isn’t present in the child’s life or doesn’t want a prominent role and a step-parent legally steps in.
To complete the process, the relationship between the biological parent giving the child up must be terminated and the new relationship between the stepparent and child is then legally created.
Most step-parent adoptions are straightforward and look like one another as the situations are the same.
Domestic or international adoption occurs when a person or couple adopts a baby or child from someone not related to them. There are many factors that could create this situation and many laws that govern how you proceed.
Who is Qualified to Adopt?
In Texas, there are some qualifications you must meet in order to become an adoptive parent including:
As a part of the home study process, all family members (people living in the home) must undergo a background check that includes a criminal investigation.
All adoptive parents must also attend a free course on how to care for abused or neglected children.
It’s an intricate process with a lot of questions, concerns, and regulations you must pass, which is why having a qualified Austin adoption attorney by your side is important.
In Texas, there are a few other ways you can adopt a child. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you might encounter.
If you know someone who is in trouble and can’t care for their child, you may offer to adopt the child. This is an independent adoption. You don’t go through an agency because you’ve already identified the child.
If the biological parents are in agreement with you regarding the need to adopt the child, it can be a straightforward process. If, however, they aren’t in agreement, it could take a little more work and time to get it worked out. In both cases, though, you need a qualified Austin adoption attorney to help facilitate the process.
An interstate adoption is when you adopt a child from outside of Texas. Each state has different adoption laws, and you must abide by both laws. You’ll need approval from the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children offices in both states. The child cannot leave his/her home state until you have approval and cannot be brought into Texas until you have approval.
The process is quite complex but with the right adoption attorney by your side, it can be done. It does require patience and a bit of paperwork to complete the process, but you’ll end up with the largest blessing – your new child.
An international adoption occurs when you adopt a baby or child from another country. You can either finalize the adoption in the child’s country and come to Texas or you can come to Texas with the child on a visa and finalize the adoption.
As you probably guessed, an international adoption is much more complex than a domestic adoption, so there are many more hoops to jump through, laws to follow, and time to wait for the process to complete.
A contested adoption is just about as tricky as they come. In this situation, you have custody of a child (not legally) but want to become their adoptive parents. This requires termination of the biological parents’ rights before you can become the adoptive parents.
In this case, like any other adoption, you need a qualified Austin adoption attorney to help you through the process.
If you’re thinking about adoption, your first step should be finding the right attorney. There are many laws and regulations you must follow to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Without the right Austin adoption attorney by your side, you could lose your chance to adopt the child who was meant to be a part of your family.
Contact us today at (512) 528-1900 and let’s discuss your situation. I’ll help you understand what laws apply to your adoption situation and what you should expect during the process. Together, we will bring your child home to you where he/she belongs.