Grandparents & Stepparent Adoptions in Texas
Dallas Adoption Attorney
Stepparents and grandparents do not have immediate parental rights over a child in the event that the birth parents pass or are rendered incapable of caring for their children. You will need to complete an official adoption process before you can obtain full parental rights.
Adoption is a complex process, but one you will need to go through if you want to secure your status as a child’s permanent guardian. Our Dallas adoption attorney can guide you through the process. We are committed to helping families and protecting the best interests of children.
If you are a stepparent or grandparent looking to adopt your loved one, call (214) 972-3025 today.
If you are raising your grandchildren and are not their legal guardian, you will have difficulty enrolling them in school, getting them medical treatment, and signing important forms on their behalf. Adopting your grandchild will eliminate all the obstacles that prevented you providing your grandchild with the parental care and support they need.
The grandparent adoption process involves the following steps:
- Termination of parental rights – The birth parents must forfeit their parental rights in order for you to take over. This may be difficult if the birth parents cannot be found, but there are ways around this step when it is impossible to get the birth parents’ consent.
- Pass a home study – You must pass a home study that proves to the courts you are a capable guardian for the child. A home study is required even if you have been raising your grandchildren for several years. These studies can cost between $500 and $1,500 and must be done by a licensed home study agency.
- Receive the child’s consent – Children over the age of 12 must give their consent to the adoption before it becomes official.
- Attend a Court Hearing – When you have everything you need to complete an adoption, you will have to attend a court hearing where the adoption will be made official.
Grandparents often adopt children when they are placed in their care by child protective services (CPS) or the parent themselves. They may also be given care of the child if the parents passed on without naming an official guardian.
Many stepparents choose to officially adopt their stepchildren when the original parent has forfeited their parental rights. If the original parent has nor forfeited their rights, you may have to file a petition to terminate parent-child relationship before the adoption can take place. If the child’s parent is deceased and you have the permission of your spouse (the birth parent), you can immediately file for an adoption.
So long as you have your spouse’s blessing and the other parent has lost their parental rights, there should not be too many obstacles to your adoption. Your attorney can help you with filing the forms and reviewing them for accuracy. You will still be evaluated to ensure you are can serve as a capable parent, which is why having a lawyer’s counsel is strongly recommended.
Steps to File for a Stepparent Adoption
There are several steps that you can take when filing for adoption as a stepparent:
Start by reading the laws in your state. Nothing, however, may substitute the competent legal advice of an adoption lawyer.
Make an appointment with the adoption court in your county.
Locate and send any legal forms that are needed.
Questions on these documents will be about you and the child.
Following the submission of your forms, a hearing will be set. The length of time it takes to have a hearing will depend on how busy the court will be. It could take a few weeks to several months.
A final adoption hearing is then set, which may be several months after the first one. At this hearing, an adoption certificate will be given, listing the stepparent as the child's legal parent.
Tell Us about Your Adoption Case
The details matter in adoptions. You will need to make sure every form is filled out accurately and filed in a timely manner. As an experienced Dallas adoption lawyer, our lead attorney Isabela Amie Garcia is an experienced Texas litigator who can help simplify the process. Call today to get started.