Adopting a child can be a complicated legal process. It may seem like a hassle, but every step is designed to protect the child and ensure he or she ends up in a loving and stable home.
The time, money, and energy you invest in the process will likely pay off once you officially become adoptive parents.
Here’s what adoption looks like from a legal perspective.
Choosing an adoption agency and attorney
Once you’ve made the decision to adopt, the first step is to choose an adoption agency. These may be public or private and provide you with varying levels of support.
If the agency doesn’t provide you with a family attorney, you should hire one to help you with the legal proceedings. Werner Law Group has successfully handled numerous adoption cases and charges $3500 plus expenses.
Completing a home study
Home studies help determine whether your home environment would be suitable for adopting a child. This may be done through the adoption agency or the government.
To complete the home study, a social worker will visit your home and interview residents. You and other residents of your home will be fingerprinted and subjected to a criminal background check.
The transfer from biological parents
Once the home study has been completed, your information will be made available to birth mothers who plan to put their child up for adoption.
Under Texas law, the birth mother must wait at least 48 hours after giving birth before terminating her parental rights. Once the mother and father have both signed their consent to adoption, the child can be placed in your custody.
Finalizing the adoption
Before the adoption can be legally certified, you’ll need to file a petition and appear in court. During the proceeding, the judge will verify that all of the paperwork is in order and that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.
As an adoptive parent or parents, you can opt to change the child’s name, which will appear on the child’s amended birth certificate after the hearing.
Adoption is an exciting prospect for most families! To ensure a smooth adoption process, contact Leslie by calling 361-578-7200.