While adopting a child is certainly an exciting process for everyone involved, it can also be quite intimidating. There are plenty of hoops to jump through and complicated steps to take. Attempting to adopt without professional assistance is extremely difficult, which is why having a lawyer in Houston, Texas is critical. You will need to make sure that you meet all of the rules of the Texas Family Code, prepare an extensive amount of documentation, and ready your case to present to a judge.
Your Legal Rights
Naturally, the first step is to make sure that you are familiar with what adoption is, what your legal responsibilities are, and what your role and title will be. You will be taking over as the child’s legal guardian, and the birth parents will no longer have rights to the child. You will have all legal rights, duties, and obligations to the child, as if you are the natural parent. Because this is a legal process, having an adoption lawyer in Houston, Texas is absolutely essential. The most common type of adoption in Texas is stepparent adoption, so that is most likely the role and title you can expect to fulfill.
What Are the Requirements to Adopt?
In order to secure a positive environment for the child, there is a rigorous screening process required for all potential stepparents. A licensed social worker will conduct a home study, which will determine whether or not you and your home will provide a safe and acceptable environment for a child. Your adoption lawyer in Houston, Texas will help you to prepare for this screening process. You will need to have all of your legal paperwork and documentation verified. You, and your spouse if applicable, will be thoroughly interviewed by the social worker. They will run a criminal background check, along with another background check focused on any potential history of child abuse. You will need to prove that you are financially able to take care of the child. The social worker will also want letters of reference from family, friends, and loved ones.
Termination of Parental Rights
Before you are able to adopt a child, his or her biological parents must give up legal rights to the child. Depending on the circumstance, this can be done voluntarily, or the termination by be ordered by a judge. Your adoption lawyer in Houston, Texas will be able to assist you in proceeding according to your specific situation. Once one or both of the biological parents no longer have any legal rights to the child, you can move on to the finalizing the adoption.
Final Adoption Proceeding
At the final adoption hearing, a lawyer in Houston, Texas will help you to present your case and finalize the adoption. Once you have proven that you will make a suitable parent and that you have the child’s best interest in mind, the judge will make a decision. Prior to the final hearing, Harris County courts may require a pre-trial conference to make sure that everything is in order and that all necessary paperwork is ready to go. After all requirements have been met and a positive determination has been made, the adoption will be finalized.
Choose Ramos Family Law
Don’t attempt to navigate the sometimes complicated Texas adoption process on your own. Ramos Family Law is experienced in adoption cases, focusing especially on stepparent adoptions. If you want exceptional legal assistance, call 713-225-6200. We are confident that we will be able to surpass all of your expectations. If you are ready to make this monumental decision, it is essential that you do it right. Take the first step by hiring Ramos Family Law for your adoption case.