Adoption Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
Through adoption, individuals and families are able to provide children in need with a stable home, adequate care, and a loving family. According to a report from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, over 6,000 children were successfully adopted from foster care across the state of Texas in 2019. If you are contemplating adopting a child in Texas, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable Texas family law attorney for detailed guidance.
For more than 35 years, attorney James P. Peterson has been providing comprehensive legal guidance and strong advocacy to parents looking to explore their options with adoption. As your legal counsel, James can evaluate your unique circumstances, explain all of your legal options, and guide you through every step of the adoption process. Attorney James P. Peterson will offer you the experienced legal counsel and compassionate representation you need as you pursue your case for adoption.
James P. Peterson Attorney at Law is proud to serve clients throughout San Antonio, Texas, and the surrounding communities of Boerne and New Braunfels.
Types of Adoption in Texas
As most people know, adoption is the legal process by which an adult chooses to accept another person's child legally into their family with the aim of raising him or her as their own child. The various types of adoption in Texas include the following:
This involves adopting a child through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or Child Protective Services (CPS). The prospective adoptive parent can work with DFPS or CPS to adopt children who have been removed from their former homes due to high-risk situations, such as child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. James P Peterson helps foster parents adopt their child with the CPS process and outside the CPS process.
A private adoption occurs between an adoptive family and the birth parent or family. Only an adoption agency or the birth parent can place a child in an adoptive home. Through private adoption, newborns, older kids, and special needs children can be adopted.
International adoptions involve adopting children from another country. An international adoption will often be arranged through an agency dealing with children from other countries placed in foster care or adoptive homes for several reasons. Once the child is in Texas, most adoptive parents prefer to re-adopt the child in order to get a Texas birth certificate. James P Peterson is experienced in these cases.
Stepparents or family members looking to adopt their stepchild or relative can file a petition seeking the adoption of the child. This process is typically more straightforward because the child and adopting parent already have an established relationship. The other birth parent's parental rights must be terminated before the adoption can be completed.
Adult adoption in Texas makes it possible for an adopted adult child to inherit property or possessions from their adoptive parent's estate. Often adult adoptions are sought simply to formalize the relationship step-parents have had with the child they never got around to adopting while the child was a minor. Sometimes older children want to be known as the child of the person who raised them. Texas law requires that the adoptive parent file a petition for adoption with the appropriate court in order to adopt the person. Often a name change is sought at the same time as the adult adoption but is not required.
Understanding Texas Adoption Laws
When it comes to understanding how adoption works in Texas, there are a few different concepts that require some legal clarity. If you or someone you know is considering adoption, here are some specific laws that guide adoption in Texas that you should be aware of:
Who is Eligible to Adopt?
Pursuant to Texas Family Code section 162.001(a), an adult may petition to adopt a child who is up for adoption. To be eligible to petition for Texas adoption, the person may either be single or married, but must meet the following requirements:
Be 21 years or older
Be healthy enough to handle parental responsibility
Have the financial capability to support the child
Be willing to encourage and respect the child's religious association
Be willing to share personal information about their family background
Be willing to provide references, including relatives and non-relatives
Who Is Eligible to Be Adopted?
Pursuant to Texas Family Code section 162.001(b), a child residing in this state may be adopted if the following requirements are met:
The parent-child relationship has been terminated
The parent whose rights have not been terminated is presently the petitioner's spouse (step-parent adoption)
The child is at least two years old, and the person seeking adoption is the child's former step-parent
The child is at least two years old, and the person seeking adoption has been a managing conservator
Is Consent Required?
Pursuant to Texas Family Code section 162.010, the following people must consent to the adoption:
The managing conservator, unless he or she is the petitioner
The child's parent, who is presently the spouse of the petitioner
The child, if he or she is 12 years of age or older
How the Texas Adoption Process Works
As you can understand, the process of adoption can often be lengthy, with a number of steps to complete. Most of these steps are in place to ensure that the prospective parent or parents are adequately vetted and to ensure that they can adequately provide a safe and loving environment for the child. The Texas adoption process typically involves all of the following:
Verification of Eligibility
Prospective parents are required to meet the state's eligibility requirements. Only adults who can handle parental responsibility and are financially capable are eligible to adopt a child in Texas.
After submitting your adoption application, the court-appointed social worker will conduct a comprehensive background check and a home study. The home study allows the court to know more about you, your family and make sure that your home is reasonably safe for the child. These must be done before your application is approved.
Finalizing the Adoption
Finalizing a Texas adoption involves:
Terminating the birth parents' rights
Attending an adoption hearing
An experienced attorney will ensure that the adoption is in compliance with all applicable Texas state laws.
Get The Trusted Guidance You Need Today
A typical adoption in Texas involves a number of complex procedures and legal requirements. Understanding the statutory requirements, determining your eligibility, and filing all of the necessary paperwork often requires the guidance of reliable legal counsel. An experienced Texas adoption attorney can help you explore all of your legal options and offer you the detailed guidance you need to navigate any key decisions along the way.
Attorney James P. Peterson has devoted his career to offering experienced legal services and comprehensive guidance in family law and adoption matters, including private, international, and step-parent adoptions. As your attorney, he will thoroughly explain all of your legal options, determine your eligibility, fill out all necessary paperwork, and submit the required documentation in court.
Whether you wish to better understand how to initiate the adoption process or you’re ready to submit a request for adoption in Texas, James P. Peterson Attorney at Law will offer you the detailed legal counsel, assistance, and strong representation you need to navigate important decisions. Using his extensive experience and knowledge, James will make sure that all aspects of the adoption process are handled as efficiently and effectively as possible. Reach out today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how he can help you with your adoption.
Experienced Adoption Attorney
in San Antonio, Texas
If you're considering adopting a child, contact James P. Peterson Attorney at Law today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Attorney James P. Peterson will be available to discuss your personal situation and offer you the experienced legal guidance, assistance, and advocacy you need to make informed decisions. James is proud to serve clients throughout San Antonio, Boerne, and New Braunfels, Texas — so reach out today to get started on your adoption case!