If you’ve decided it’s time to adopt a child, you’re going to need an experienced adoption lawyer. Adopting a child could be the biggest decision you ever make. You want to make sure you do it right. One mistake could mean the difference between having a child and being denied your adoption. An Austin adoption lawyer can help guide you through the steps in the adoption process.
From finding a child to applying for the adoption, they can help you every step of the way. He’ll make sure you fill out the forms properly and get all the necessary background checks.
Your Texas adoption attorney can also help you arrange for the home study. This is a very important step in the adoption process. You don’t want to complete all the other steps and then have your adoption denied because you didn’t do a proper home study.
If you’re thinking about adopting in Austin, you need to call our office today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced adoption attorney at Eddington Worley. We can answer any questions you may have and explain how the process works.
Austin Adoption Attorneys Understand the Adoption Process
There are certain steps you need to take if you want to adopt a child in Texas. If you miss any of these steps, your adoption may be denied. If you don’t meet the mandatory requirements, your application will be denied.
Here is a breakdown of the requirements to adopt in Austin, Texas:
- You must be at least 21 years old
- Financial stability and maturity
- Provide relative and non-relative references
- You must complete the initial application
- Share necessary information about your background and lifestyle
- Complete the required criminal background checks
- Attend free training about how to raise a child
- Complete the home study
If you have problems at any point in this process, an Austin adoption lawyer can help.
We Handle all Types of Adoptions Including Stepparent Adoptions
Not all adoptions are the same. There are many different types of adoptions. Thankfully, Austin adoption attorneys know how to handle them all.
The three major types of adoptions in Texas include:
- U.S. adoption
- International adoption
- Step-parent adoption
Of the three, the step-parent adoption is the easiest. This is because you presumably have the permission of at least one of the parents. It’s a bit harder to complete domestic and international adoptions. For all three types, you’ll definitely want to use an experienced Austin adoption lawyer.
In order to apply to adopt your stepchild, one of the following circumstances must apply:
- Deceased parent
- Absent parent
- Unknown parent
- The parent who has abandoned the child or shown no interest
In order to adapt your stepchild, you need to follow the procedures below:
Submit Your Request to Adopt
This is the first step of the formal adoption process. You will need to file a petition with the local court requesting to adopt your stepchild
Termination of Parental Rights
Ideally, the other parent will sign a consent to the adoption of the child. If he refuses, or if the parent is unknown, the court may determine to terminate parental rights. The judge will only do this if it’s in the best interests of the children.
The caseworker assigned to your file will have to complete a home study. She will also review your financial and criminal backgrounds. She’ll conduct an
Amicus Attorney assigned
After all of the above is completed, the court will assign an amicus attorney to the children involved. This attorney will review all the information and make a recommendation to the judge. If she recommends the adoption be approved, it will usually be approved. If, however, she recommends that your request
How Do Stepparent Adoptions Differ from Other Adoptions?
The process for regular adoptions is very similar to that for a stepparent adoption. There are a few differences, including:
- You have to find an available child to adopt. Whether you’re looking to adopt locally or internationally, you need to find a child to adopt. There are agencies who can help you do this. Your Austin adoption attorney can work with you to find the ideal agency to assist you.
- Regular adoptions don’t have the special requirement of an absent, deceased, or unknown parent. In most regular adoptions, the biological parents have either already signed away their rights or they’re deceased.
- You obviously don’t have a relationship with one of the biological parents when you file your petition. Although there are rare circumstances when you do (such as foster care adoptions), for the most part, the parents are strangers.
The main types of adoptions in Texas are:
- Foster Care
Although the circumstances for all three are markedly different, the process is similar for all three. Your Austin adoption attorney is familiar with this process. He will work hard to make your adoption process go smoothly.
Why Are Parenting Classes Required?
When you decide to adopt a baby, it should be a happy experience. And, as much as an adoption changes your life, it changes the child’s life even more. With the exception of stepparent adoptions, when a child is adopted, he is affected in many ways.
Parenting classes and the free training offer for potential adoptive parents is important. It helps you deal with many of the issues involved with adoption, including:
Grief and loss suffered by the child
You have to remember that the child you’re adopting is essentially losing his parents. Even if he doesn’t know them very well, he still had a mom and dad at some point. Or, maybe he was living with grandparents and now he’s going to move into your home. There is a lot of loss and grief experienced by the child.
Self-Esteem Issues and Identity Crisis
When you adopt a child, you’re uprooting their entire life. They’re going to be living with a new family in a new town. They don’t know anybody. They feel as if they’ve been given away by their old family. This can create many issues with a child’s self-esteem. You need to know how to react to this and help your child deal with it.
Your child may become so attached to you that they have issues going to school. This is especially true if the child spent months or years in institutions. If you adopt a child from an orphanage in another country, they don’t know what it’s like to live in a home with their parents.
Physical and Mental Health Challenges
The reason some children are up for adoption is they suffer from physical or mental challenges. You need to be prepared to handle these issues once the adoption is complete. The training can help you do this.
Almost every state requires prospective adoptive parents to undergo some sort of training. This is for the sake of the parents and children.
Can Austin Adoption Attorneys Help if Your Adoption is Denied?
If all goes well, your adoption will be approved and you can move forward creating new memories with your family. However, there are times when a Texas judge may deny your adoption. Some of the reasons why your adoption may be denied are:
- You’re trying to adopt a child in order to defraud creditors or criminal prosecution
- One of the parties is being taken advantage of (I.e. a mentally deficient parent, etc.)
- The amicus attorney recommends that the adoption be denied
- You didn’t complete one of the requirements
- You’re trying to manipulate the legal system
For most of these reasons, your Austin adoption attorney can help you overcome these challenges. He can file an appeal and get to the root of the judge’s decision.
Most judges use good judgment and common sense when approving or denying an adoption. The bottom line is, they have to look out for the best interests of the children. They also have to make sure the legal rights of the biological parents are protected at all times.
Contact an Austin Adoption Lawyer Today
If you’re trying to adopt a child in Texas, you need to contact an adoption attorney in Austin. Your attorney can help, whether you’re at the initial stages or are looking to appeal an adoption denial. Call us at (281)809-9185 and schedule your initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.
The Austin probate and adoption attorneys at Eddington & Worley have decades of combined experience handling Texas adoptions. Let them help you overcome whatever challenges you may be facing.
Adopting a child may be the biggest decision you ever make. It’s important that you have a skilled attorney by your side. You don’t want to make a costly mistake that haunts you forever. Once your adoption is denied, it is an uphill battle to get it approved down the road.