If you’re thinking about adopting an infant and need legal representation from someone you can trust, contact a Katy adoption attorney at Adams Law Firm. Adoption is a life-changing decision. It’s an exciting and emotional experience, but one that’s constrained by specific laws and procedures. You should have someone by your side who’s familiar with these laws and can guide you through each step of the adoption process.
At Adams Law Firm, we provide knowledgeable and personalized legal services to couples and individuals in Texas interested in adoption. We have been helping our clients expand their families for over 40 years. From the initial paperwork to finalizing the adoption, we can assist you during each stage to protect your rights and ensure this transition goes smoothly and efficiently.
To find out more about our legal services and how we can help you adopt an infant, call us at (281) 391-9237 for a confidential consultation with one of our Katy infant adoption attorneys.
Who Is Eligible to Adopt an Infant in Texas?
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services requires any prospective adoptive parent to adhere to the following requirements:
- Complete the application
- Provide references (relatives and non-relative)
- Be financially stable, responsible, and at least 21 years old
- Share lifestyle and background information
- If it applies to your situation, show proof of marriage or divorce
- Attend training to learn about neglected and abused children
- Submit to neglect/abuse check on every adult in your household and a criminal history background check
- Allow a home study involving visits with each household member
You can adopt a child even if you’re not married. If you are married, you can’t adopt as an individual. It must be something you and your spouse do together. This requirement also applies even if you’re separated but not legally divorced yet.
Different Ways to Adopt In Texas
There are various organizations you can go through if you want to adopt an infant. Each comes with its own applications, fees, and processes, and each one must abide by Texas adoption laws. You should enlist a Katy infant adoption attorney’s help to ensure you choose the right process for you, follow the right steps, and meet all the requirements.
- Adoption agencies – Licensed agencies throughout Texas work with women who want to place their children for adoption and prospective couples or individuals interested in adopting. These agencies go through extensive procedures to ensure they match the right adoptive parents with the right infant.
- Department of Family and Protective Services – Children of all ages need loving homes. DFPS provides prospective parents with the opportunity to adopt someone in the foster care system. You must meet state licensing requirements and pass strict background checks. Visit the Texas department website for more information.
- Private match – Instead of going through an agency or another official avenue of adoption, you could work directly with a birth family who wants to give up their infant for adoption. However, it’s important that you hire an experienced Katy infant adoption attorney to ensure you comply with the legal procedure and requirements.
- Open agreements – An open agreement involves adopting an infant whose birth parent or parents are still allowed contact with their child throughout the child’s life. Although this could provide certain benefits for the child, it’s not a recognized form of adoption under Texas laws. For some prospective adoptive individuals and couples, it could also create emotional strain and stress. You should discuss this at length with a lawyer to determine if this is the right option for you.
- Foster child – You could choose to foster an infant whose biological parents aren’t fit to properly care for them. Many people develop a strong bond with their foster child and apply for permanent adoption after a certain period has passed. DFPS requires the prospective parent to go through an application process to determine if they’re the right fit for the child’s needs.
- Family adoptions – Some situations require removing an infant from their biological parents’ home and placing them with a grandparent, uncle, aunt, or another family member. You can pursue custody if you believe the child would be better off in your permanent care.
Terminating Parental Rights to A Child
The biological parents of an infant must terminate their legal parental rights for you to move forward with adoption. There are two types of termination: voluntary and involuntary. Texas Family Code 161 has specific requirements for each depending on the circumstances of the parent-child relationship.
Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights – A biological parent can file a claim in court if they wish to terminate their parental rights. The court will determine if this decision is in the best interest of the infant. They must complete and sign paperwork and appear in court to testify that they wish to give up their rights as a parent.
Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights – When a biological parent doesn’t have a say in terminating their parental rights, it is typically due to extreme situations where they aren’t fit to raise their child and can’t provide a safe environment. Examples that could lead to involuntary termination include:
- Neglect or abuse
- Exposing the infant to a physically or mentally dangerous environment
- Refusing to support the child
- Engaging in criminal acts
If you believe an infant would be better off in your care, you should hire a Katy infant adoption attorney immediately and pursue terminating the biological parents’ rights. All children deserve to live in a loving, stable, and safe home.
Contact Adams Law Firm
Our legal team has been assisting clients with the adoption process since 1977. We strive to provide reliable and honest legal representation to individuals and couples throughout Texas who are interested in adding an infant to their family.
If you’re thinking about adoption or are in the process of adopting and hit a roadblock, contact an award-winning Katy infant adoption attorney from Adams Law Firm immediately. While we know the legal aspects of an adoption process can seem intimidating, we will guide you through every step of the process, and we’ll always be by your side. Call us for an initial consultation today at (281) 391-9237.