Let the Houston Adoption Attorneys at Longworth Law Firm, P.C. assist in your Stepparent Adoption in Houston, TX.
Texas Stepparent Adoption
There are complex processes to be followed, requirements to fulfill and many documents to present before a court in a stepparent adoption. To easily maneuver through this process that can sometimes be filled with frustration, you will need a skilled and experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer will look at the necessary documents and predict future speed bumps that may make your adoption attempts difficult.
How To Adopt a Stepchild in Texas
In stepparent adoptions the child is familiar with the person that wants to adopt the child and has possibly lived with that person for a long period of time. A stepparent seeks parental rights through the adoption process of their stepchild. The reason why they seek parental rights is that in the eyes of the law, the stepparent does not have any rights to make decisions for the child’s well being even if the child lives with the stepparent. This means that they may not be able to provide certain things for the child.
Stepparent Rights in Texas
The first thing that makes it possible for a stepparent to adopt is that the stepparent must be married to the parent of the child and the parent is actively involved in their life. Other situations that make stepparent adoption possible are:
- A situation where the child’s biological parent is diseased and the stepparent wants to become a parent to the child in the eyes of the law
- If the child’s parent is not taking an active role in the child’s life a stepparent can petition the court to gain parental rights for the child
- The biological parent has drug and alcohol abuse problems
If the adoption is contested, a skilled lawyer can gather evidence to demonstrate that the child’s biological parent behaved irresponsibly. The lawyer does this to convince the court to conduct an involuntary termination of parental rights. But if the biological parent voluntarily relinquishes parental rights, your attorney can help you file for termination of parental rights and other legal processes.
Texas Stepparent Adoption Process
The steps that should be taken to adopt a child in Texas include:
- A home study will be done
- Both parents will undergo a background check, which takes long time and should be started early
- An Amicus attorney may have to be appointed to represent the best interests of the child
- Background checks will be performed on the stepparent
- There will be a final hearing to determine if it is in the child’s best interest to be adopted by the stepparent.
However, before you adopt your stepchild either of the following must apply:
- The child only has one biological parent
- Only one biological parent is actively involved in the child’s life because the other biological parent is absent by choice
- There is only one living biological parent
- The absent biological parent agrees to sign the adoption appropriate documents for the stepparent adoption
To maximize chances for a successful stepparent adoption, you will need an attorney that is dedicated, skilled and experienced.