Finalizing an adoption in Texas is one of the few joyous occasions in a family law courtroom.
Most of the family law judges in Harris County require a pretrial hearing prior to the final trial to ensure that all requirements have met and that the parents don’t show up the day of the adoption hearing only to be sent home disappointed. Once the pretrial hearing has been held and all necessary requirements have been completed, including a social study and background check of the adoptive parents, then all necessary parties will appear before the judge to finalize the adoption.
Necessary parties include the child, the adoptive parents, the attorney for the adoptive parents, the amicus attorney, an ad litem attorney if one was appointed as well as any potential government agency parties, such as caseworkers from CPS if applicable. Extended family such as siblings and grandparents are also encouraged to join in on this momentous occasion for a family.
The parties will go before the judge and testify as to the facts necessitating the adoption. The attorneys will question the adoptive parents as to their understanding that they are becoming the legal parents of a child and whether they believe the adoption is in the best interest of the child. Often times, age permitting, the child is allowed to speak to the judge and attorneys about their adoptive parents and desire to be adopted.
Once the attorneys have elicited the necessary testimony and the judge has reviewed all the relevant pleadings, the judge will sign an order granting the adoption and pronounce the child to legally belong to the adoptive parents. Often times a judge will allow the adopted child to bang the gavel or bestow a small toy or stuffed animal to the child. The family is also allowed to take pictures with the judge on the bench to memorialize the special day.
If you are contemplating legally adopting a child and would like to partake in an occasion as described above, please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC and one of the competent family law attorneys can assist you with any adoption-related inquiries.