Supporting you to grow your family
Adopting a child is one of the happiest and most rewarding moments in a person’s life. There may be lots of steps to take between making the decision and giving a child a new home, but we are here to support you all the way.
At GoransonBain Ausley our Texas adoption attorneys are pleased to have assisted many Austin, Dallas and Plano couples with private adoptions. These have included stepparent adoptions, relative adoptions and adoptions between same-sex couples.
What Does Adopting a Child in Texas Involve?
Adoption can involve lots of complex legal issues. Things you will have to consider include:
- How and where the biological parent’s parental rights will come to an end.
- When and where to file for adoption.
- What expenses you can legally pay the birth mother.
Other complexities include, if the child is born in another state, how you will comply with that state’s adoption laws as well as those of the State of Texas. And you’ll also have to understand your rights and obligations while you have possession of the child and before the adoption is final.
About the Important Decision to Adopt
The decision to adopt a child can be one of the most rewarding, joyous and altruistic moments of a person’s life. It can be the beginning of a richer, happier future for both parent and child.
A primary concern of couples who choose to adopt is consent. Many decisions must be made about the level of contact, if any, the birth parents will have with the child and finalization of the adoption. The choice to adopt gives rise to an array of complex legal issues such as:
- What happens if a biological parent or surrogate has second thoughts?
- What if the biological parents reach out to me several years later and would like to see their daughter/son?
- Can the biological parents petition for rights?
- What are the legal guidelines for an open/closed adoption?
- If you are adopting the child of a relative who cannot meet their parental obligations, what safeguards need to be in place?
- What do you need to know about your rights – and your obligations – before legally adopting a stepchild, grandchild or foster child?
All of these are valid questions when considering adoption. Do not let the process intimidate you. The Dallas adoption attorneys at GoransonBain Ausley can walk you through step by step, providing the legal and emotional support you need to extend your family.
Developing Your Adoption Strategy
We understand that the legal side of adoption can seem intimidating. At GoransonBain Ausley you will have an experienced Dallas adoption attorney by your side throughout the process, walking you through it step by step.
We can help you compare the advantages and disadvantages of private adoptions versus going through an agency. Then we will assist you in creating an adoption strategy that is right for you, before providing all the legal and emotional support you need to extend your family.
Considering Adoption? Why You Should Consult a Dallas Adoption Attorney First
Our adoption lawyers have the knowledge needed to help you execute a seamless adoption proceeding, and to ensure all potential issues involving the non-custodial parent have been thoroughly examined regardless of the type of adoption you are seeking, such as:
- Stepparent Adoption– Officially adding your stepson or daughter to the family is one of the most common types of adoption.
- International Adoption– Russia, China, Ethiopia, South Korea and Ukraine are some of the most popular home counties of internationally adopted children.
- State Adoption (Interstate) – Adopting a child from a state other than Texas may require you to follow different state laws.
- Foster Child Adoption – Usually handled by local public agencies, children in foster care are under the custody of the state.
- Infant Adoption– When adding a member to your family as a newborn, the mother has typically hand-selected you as viable parents.
- Relative Adoption– Adopting a relative includes formally adopting a grandchild(ren), niece or nephew.
- Same–Sex adoption– Same-sex couples surrogacy contracts and adoption process for the non-biological parent.
At GoransonBain Ausley, we can help your family by developing a legal strategy that meets your personal goals. Our team is well-versed in local and international law, as well as regulations in other states that may affect your adoption. Every aspect of family law is emotional, but bringing new families together is a joy that each member of our staff relishes.
Each Step of the Texas Adoption Process Offers Benefits
Although there may be procedural differences between private adoptions versus adopting through the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the law governing adoptions in Texas requires the same basic steps. DFPS provides detailed Steps to Become a Foster/Adoptive Parent page online. The following is a summary of these steps:
- Information meeting: In addition to age requirements and the ability to pass a criminal background check, you must be willing to go through every step in the adoption process. This meeting informs you about requirements and steps and lets you ask preliminary questions.
- Preparation meeting: Next, you meet with DFPS staff to further assess if adoption is right for you, while allowing the staff to assess your qualifications.
- Training: Texas provides a 35-hour Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) course providing instruction regarding basic child care, along with specific considerations that for each prospective adoptive parent. Prospective adoptive parents will also participate in three additional training and certification programs outside of the PRIDE program, each designed to further educate the adoptive parents regarding meeting the needs of their adoptive child.
- Home visit: Expect a home visit from a DFPS caseworker to review your personal history, lifestyle, experience caring for children and many other factors designed to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for adoption. Each member of your household, including other children, will be interviewed, so that a complete picture of the prospective family unit can be developed.
Each step you complete prior beginning the adoption process prepares you and your family to bring a new child into your home — and helps ensure a seamless integration with your family. These steps are basically the same for families who wish to open their homes to children in need of foster care. Your Dallas family law attorney at GoransonBain Ausley can help guide you through the adoption process.
Begin Your Texas Adoption Journey
Contact us to set up your initial adoption consultation and find out more about the legal requirements involved. We’re looking forward to helping you with this exciting journey. We have offices in Dallas, Austin and Plano.