Many stepparents who would like to formally adopt their stepchild are intimidated by the adoption process. This is understandable, as it is a complicated process with many steps. However, with the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney, the adoption process becomes much easier.
If you are a stepparent who would like to adopt your stepchild, you should strongly consider contacting a Texas stepparent adoption attorney to begin the process. Below is an overview of the stepchild adoption process in Texas.
The Stepparent Files a Petition
To begin a stepchild adoption in Texas, the stepparent must file a petition with the court. Under Texas law, a petition to adopt a stepchild joins two causes of action: (1) the termination of the natural parent’s parental rights and (2) adoption by the stepparent.
The Biological Parent’s Parental Rights Are Terminated
After the stepparent has filed a petition, the next step is the termination of the biological mother’s or father’s parental rights. Stepparent adoption in Texas requires that one biological parent’s rights be terminated. This process either involves the voluntary signing over parental rights by the biological parent or involuntary termination through the court intervention.
A Social Study is Prepared
Next, a social study evaluator evaluates the conditions and circumstances of the stepchild and prepares a social study. The requirements for completion of a social study are contained in the Texas Family Code. In order to complete the study, the social study evaluator conducts interviews with both parties to the case, joint interviews with each party to the case and the child, and individual interviews with the child.
An Amicus Attorney is Appointed
Finally, an amicus attorney is appointed to determine what is in the best interests of the child. The amicus attorney’s role is similar to the social study evaluator’s but involves a more in-depth analysis of a number of factors involved in the case. For example, an amicus attorney interviews the parents and other individuals involved in the child’s life, visits the child’s home, and performs a number of other important functions.
Denton adoption attorney
As you can see, there are many steps in the Texas stepchild adoption process, and it can be difficult to navigate alone. Therefore, if you’re interested in adopting your stepchild in Texas, you should enlist the services of a Denton adoption attorney.
At Youngberg Law Firm, our Texas adoption attorney will help guide you through the stepchild adoption process in the most efficient manner possible while taking into account the unique circumstances of your family situation. We will always treat you with dignity and respect while working towards the best possible outcome in your case. In order to ensure that the adoption of your stepchild is handled with the utmost care, please contact us today for a consultation.