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The Foray Firm

Katy, Texas Adoption Lawyer

Fort Bend County Adoption Lawyer

Attorney Serving Fort Bend County Explains Termination of Parental Rights and Related Child Adoption

When you make the decision to adopt a child, you take on a great responsibility to support that child financially and emotionally. Yet it is a responsibility that you take on willingly and lovingly.

At The Foray Firm, we understand the desire to be a parent, being parents ourselves. We also know that the legal process of adoption can seem overly complicated and frustrating. We will work diligently to make the process go as smoothly as possible for you.

As practitioners of family law for over a decade, we are prepared to handle all types of adoptions, including:

  • Related-child adoption, which includes:
    • Adoption of your spouse's child, i.e., stepparent-stepchild 
    • Adoption of a grandchild, niece, or nephew, typically in cases where the child's parent has died or become unable to care for the child
  • Adoption of an unrelated child through an adoption agency or foster care
  • Single-parent adoption
  • Same-sex couple adoption
  • Contested adoption, where at least one of the child's birth parents objects to the adoption proceeding and the termination of their parental rights

Texas Law on Adoption

The standard process for adoption involves the following steps:

  1. File a petition in county court to initiate adoption proceedings. If you are married, your spouse must join you in this petition. If the child has a living parent (other than your spouse) whose parental rights have not yet been terminated, you must also file a petition to terminate their parent-child relationship.
  2. Be approved by a home study, also known as an adoption evaluation, which includes criminal background checks, home visits, and interviews. This requirement may be waived in related adoptions.
  3. Obtain a health, social, education, and genetic history report on the child, usually provided by the adoption agency.
  4. Reside with the child for at least six months. The court may waive this requirement if it is in the best interest of the child.
  5. Obtain the written consent of a child who is at least 12 years old. The court may waive this requirement if it is in the best interest of the child.
  6. Attend an adoption finalization hearing in court. If the court finds that the requirements for adoption have been met, the court shall grant the adoption. The name of the child may be changed in the adoption order upon request.

Texas Law on Termination of Parental Rights

A person's parental rights may be involuntarily terminated by a court finding that the parent has abandoned or knowingly endangered the child, has been criminally responsible for the death or serious injury of any child, or has been deemed unable to care for the child by CPS.

If there are no grounds for involuntary termination, then a child cannot be adopted unless their living parent(s) voluntarily relinquish parental rights.

If you have been asked to relinquish your parental rights and you want to remain in your child's life, The Foray Firm Houston will represent you and fight for your rights. There will be a court hearing at which we can argue that you play an important role in your child's life and that terminating your parental rights would not be in the child's best interests.

Fort Bend County Adoption Lawyers

The attorneys of The Foray Firm are dedicated to providing reliable legal representation to families of all races, ethnicities, and genders. Contact us in our Houston, TX office at 832-919-6400. We serve clients throughout Houston, Harris County, Waller County, and Fort Bend County, including the communities of Fulshear, Katy, Richmond, and Sugar Land.

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