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How to Navigate Adoption in Texas

March 22, 2021

Trusted Legal Guidance For Adoptions

James P. Peterson Attorney at Law doesn't see his work as just a profession, but a calling to help people. In no other area of law does the work get more rewarding than adoptions. These are cases where it is a win-win situation for the individual involved and the adoptive parent. In the decades since he began practicing law in 1986 in San Antonio, Texas, it has been a joy for him to help change lives through his legal guidance with adoptions.

He would be happy to speak with you about proceeding with a stepparent adoption of a child or a family member adoption.


Usually, the biological father or birth mother voluntarily gives up their rights and allows for the termination and adoption of the child. Sometimes a parent may refuse to give up their rights, even though they have not supported the child or visited the child. That is when James P. Peterson is needed. James P. Peterson has over 35 years of experience terminating the parental rights of those unwilling to give up their rights. A common ground for termination is nonsupport.

Another common ground for termination is the biological father's failure to timely register with the State Paternity Registry. There are many other grounds for termination and ultimately, it has to be shown the termination of a parent's rights is in the best interest of the child. James P. Peterson will not take your case unless he firmly thinks he can terminate the parent's rights.

Family Member Adoption

Most adopted children are adopted by step-parents or other family members (grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc.). The District Court Judge and staff enjoy these cases and usually welcome pictures when the case is finalized.

A name change is included at no cost. You will receive certified copies of the Decree of Termination and Adoption, and within a few weeks after the adoption is finalized, then you will receive a new birth certificate

Alternatives to Family Member Adoption

Sometimes when a parent cannot care for a child, a family member, such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or cousin will step in to take responsibility for raising the child. In this situation, James P. Peterson will take the time needed to understand the circumstances of the situation. In some cases, it may be better to establish a guardianship of the child rather than adoption, especially if mom or dad at some point might come back into the child's life to care for them.

With more than 30 years of experience in family law, you can trust James P. Peterson Attorney at Law to know the best route to take given the facts of the case.
Adult Adoption

Sometimes a stepparent will want to adopt a child he or she has raised to adulthood, then an adult adoption is the way to go. It is the most affordable adoption.

Sometimes the 17-year-old will want his or her adoptive parent's last name. In these circumstances, a regular adoption is one option, but if everyone can wait, but an adult adoption may be a more affordable alternative.

Private Adoption

When adopting a newborn baby you need an experienced attorney. Only a parent or an adoption agency may place a child for adoption. Sometimes school teachers, counselors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, counselors, or a family member may know a pregnant woman who is willing to place her child for adoption. If the mother chooses you to adopt her child, make sure it is done right by hiring experienced attorney James P. Peterson.

James P. Peterson will help you coordinate with the hospital so you can take the child home after birth. There is a requirement that the adoptive parents live with the child for six months before the adoption may be granted. While waiting, a social study or adoption evaluation is completed and steps are taken to terminate all rights of the natural parents.

Contact James P. Peterson to Help
Move an Adoption Case Forward

For a lawyer who works efficiently and effectively for your benefit, trust James P. Peterson Attorney at Law. The firm offers free consultations. Reach the San Antonio, Texas, office at 210-943-9505, or send an email.

Attorney Peterson knows that with adoption come many questions. To learn more, visit the firm's frequently asked questions page about adoptions or simply schedule a free consultation by calling or filling out the short form below.