Adoption can be a confusing process but the attorneys at Davidson Law are here to help. If the child has no living parents he or she is eligible for adoption. Also, if the parental rights of both biological parents of the child have been terminated he or she is eligible for adoption. Or, if the biological parents of the child whose rights have not been terminated consent to the adoption, someone else can adopt the child.
When the child is already eligible for adoption, the prospective adoptive parents’ first step is to file an Original Petition for Adoption in the County where the child has resided for the last six months. The child should have lived with the prospective adoptive parents for six months before filing but the Court can waive this requirement. If the child is twelve years or older they should be prepared to express their consent to the adoption either in written form or in live testimony with the Court. After filing prospective adoptive parents must submit to a pre-adoptive and post-placement social studies. A health, social, educational, and genetic history report concerning the child must be filed with the Court unless the biological parents cannot be located and there is insufficient information to compile the report. If the adoption is in the child’s best interest the Court will likely grant it after a short hearing.
Often, a step-parent wants to adopt their step-child but to do so they must first terminate the parental rights of the other biological parent. Because this has become so common the Texas Courts allow step-parents to combine their termination and adoption suits in to one case. If the biological parent consents to the adoption the process is as described above. Also, the Texas Family Code provides many ways to terminate a parent’s rights without their consent.
If you or someone you know is considering adopting a child, please contact Davidson Law today for a free consultation to learn more about your options.