Adoptions and Terminations
The attorneys at Sanchez and Flores, PLLC, are here to guide you through every stage of the adoption process.
Types of adoptions:
- Private (non-agency)
- Domestic (through an agency)
- Stepparent Adoptions
- Third party family member adoptions
There are many stepparents who desire to adopt their spouse’s children. Stepparents help provide a loving and stable home to their stepchildren. Chances are you already treat them as your own and desire to make the adoption official. It makes stepparent adoptions the most common type of adoption.
Things to consider before filing for a Stepparent adoption
- Generally, a child must live with one biological parent and their spouse for at least six continuous months.
- Once adoption is final, that birth parent will no longer be allowed to make decisions on behalf of the child related to medical, education or psychological
- Current child support will cease immediately
- No future child support may be ordered
Steps to adopt / Basic requirements
- Termination of One or Both Birth Parents
Before building your family, the following requirements must be met. First, the biological parent, who is not in primary possession of the child, must have their parental rights terminated. In Texas, a parent's rights may be terminated voluntarily or involuntarily.
If done voluntarily, that parent agrees to give up his or her rights to the child by signing a voluntary relinquishment of their parental rights. This action will sever the legal relationship between that parent and the child.
If the noncustodial parent is unwilling to sign away their rights, then that parent must be served with a formal termination lawsuit. There must be a good cause for a parent’s rights to be terminated. For instance, abandonment, abuse, neglect of the child or voluntarily leaving the child in the possession of another who is not the parent without providing adequate support for the child and remaining away for at least six months. Moreover, the Court must determine that termination is in the best interest of the child.
- Home Study/ Adoption Evaluation
To help the Court determine if the adoption is in the best interest of the child, a licensed social worker will conduct a formal evaluation. The social worker will assess the circumstances of the child, the biological parents, and the party requesting the adoption. The evaluation includes interviews with everyone who resides in the home, as well as references from other family members and friends. A criminal background check will be conducted in conjunction with the home study.
Do you have questions? Call us.
Adoptions are very complicated and require a knowledgeable attorney, call us to schedule your free consultation today: 512-212-7851 or use our online form to schedule your appointment.