The adoption of a child can bring so much joy and happiness to a family. While the end results of bringing a new child home to complete your family are often rewarding, the process itself can be complex and fraught with difficulty. It is the job (and privilege) of experienced adoption attorneys to support families as they navigate the adoption process in Texas.
There are several different paths to adopt a child in Texas, and our legal team at The Perrone Law Firm can help you determine which path is best for you and your expanding family. Each path comes with advantages and disadvantages. While there are procedural differences between the paths, the law governing them requires the same basic steps.
The Adoption Process
Potential foster parents and adoptive parents must meet certain age requirements and pass a criminal background check. An initial information meeting informs them about the steps they’ll take in order to foster or adopt, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
After the information meeting, parents meet with DFPS staff in a preparation meeting to determine whether adoption is the right journey for them and to have their qualifications assessed.
Potential adoptive parents must then take a 35-hour Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) course that covers basic childcare, plus three additional training and certification programs designed to educate them about meeting the needs of adoptive children.
A DFPS caseworker will conduct a home visit to observe their lifestyle and experience level caring for children to determine whether they are an appropriate candidate for adoption. All household members, including children, will be interviewed to provide a complete picture of the family unit.
These steps are undertaken to ensure as smooth and successful of a transition for the adoptive child as possible. A knowledgeable adoption lawyer can assist families through this entire process.
At The Perrone Law Firm, we are proud to represent families seeking to adopt children through either CPS adoptions (considered public adoptions) or private adoptions, both of which come with an array of complex legal issues. To facilitate CPS adoptions, we coordinate directly with DFPS and help foster parents meet all of the requirements. We represent the foster parents at conferences, court appearances, and hearings.
In private adoptions, we work with placement agencies and oversee matched private adoptions. We have extensive experience establishing legal guidelines for open or closed adoptions, taking into consideration the rights and obligations of the biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.
We can also facilitate relative adoptions or step-parent adoptions and termination of parental rights for biological parents. A relative adoption is when someone adopts their grandchild, niece/nephew, or cousin. To be legally binding, the rights of both birth parents must be terminated.
In step-parent adoptions, a person petitions the court to become the legal parent of the children of their new spouse. If you’re interested in adopting a step-child, our experienced step-parent adoptions lawyers are here to offer guidance.