Stepparent Adoption Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
The well-being and upbringing of a child are not only the responsibility of the biological parent. When a child's biological parent remarries, the stepparent may seek to become the legal parent to their spouse's child through adoption. Stepparent adoption allows the stepparent to take over the legal rights of the non-custodial parent – absent biological parent – who has relinquished their parental rights. If you're considering adopting your stepchild or want to understand the stepparent adoption process, consulting with an experienced Texas adoption attorney is important for detailed guidance.
Attorney James P Peterson has devoted his career to providing outstanding legal services and knowledgeable guidance to clients in family law and adoption-related matters. He is available to discuss your unique situation, enlighten you about the benefits of adopting your stepchild, and help you understand the Texas stepparent adoption process.
James P. Peterson, Attorney at Law, proudly serves clients across San Antonio, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Boerne and New Braunfels.
The Benefits of Adopting Your Stepchild
Stepparent adoption is the legal adoption of a marital partner's child. It is a situation in which a stepparent adopts the child of their current spouse. For example, if a single mother or divorcée who has a child remarries, her new spouse may adopt the child through stepparent adoption. Furthermore, stepparent adoption offers the following benefits, including:
Obtaining legal rights and responsibilities of the child's biological parent.
Providing love, care, comfort, security, and a sense of belonging to both the stepchild and the stepparent.
Creating an opportunity for the stepchild to inherit the stepfather's estate and property.
Making important decisions on behalf of your stepchild regarding education, religion, medical care, and other life's essential issues.
Allowing your stepchild to gain access to your medical insurance, life insurance, and other benefits.
Demonstrating your continued commitment to your stepchild.
Helping to mitigate the influence of a problematic biological parent.
Both the stepparent and the stepchild will benefit from a stepparent adoption. However, before you can adopt your stepchild and become a legal parent, you must first terminate the parental rights of the non-custodial parent.
Termination of Parental Rights
Terminating the parental rights of the child's other parent is necessary before a child can be adopted. This relinquishes the parental rights of the non-custodial parent, terminates their right to visitation, and prevents them from making any decision on the child's behalf. In Texas, the termination of parental rights may be done voluntarily or involuntarily.
Voluntary termination occurs when the non-custodial parent voluntarily agrees to the termination of their parental rights. The non-custodial parent will complete the required documentation or request that the judge terminate their parental rights. Once done, the stepparent adoption can take place.
Involuntary termination occurs when the custodial parent or a family member files a petition in court seeking the termination of the other parent's rights. A judge can terminate a parent's rights based on the following grounds or reasons:
The parent endangered the child
The parent is otherwise unfit
The parent abandoned the child and has no intent to return
The parent failed to support the child
The parent engaged in certain criminal conduct
The parent abused or neglected another child
The parent abandoned the child's mother at the beginning of the pregnancy
The parent refuses to submit a court order
An experienced adoption lawyer can explore your possible legal options to terminate parental rights and guide you through the stepparent adoption process in Texas.
The Stepparent Adoption Process
Compared to other types of adoption, stepparent adoption in Texas is less complex and more straightforward. Here are the steps involved:
Determine your eligibility
File a petition to terminate the rights of the absent biological parent
File a joint petition for adoption with your spouse
Complete and submit the necessary paperwork and documentation
Complete the social study and adoption evaluation
Possibly Attend an interview with an "amicus attorney" with your stepchild
Once all required steps are completed, a court hearing will be scheduled to complete the process and make your stepparent adoption official
An experienced attorney can guide you through the entire process and help you make your adoption as seamless as possible.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
A typical stepparent adoption in Texas may seem straightforward, but there are still some crucial steps you need to take. Determining your eligibility, terminating parental rights, filing your adoption case, and attending court hearings require proper guidance and experienced representation. A knowledgeable adoption attorney can guide you through the entire process and help you navigate key decisions.
Attorney James P. Peterson has the experience and resources to assist and guide stepparents through the complexities involved in adopting their stepchildren. With his help and detailed guidance, you can seek a legal, smooth, and successful adoption.
Stepparent Adoption Attorney Serving San Antonio, Texas
If you need assistance with stepparent adoption, contact James P. Peterson, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a simple consultation. Attorney James P. Peterson can offer you and your family the comprehensive legal guidance and brilliant advocacy you need to navigate intelligent decisions. The firm is proud to serve individuals and families across Texas with an emphasis in San Antonio, Boerne, and New Braunfels, Texas.