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Adoption in Texas is just one of the types of cases family law attorneys must deal with at times. Family law is indeed an area of law that has its own difficult circumstances. It’s mostly because family law attorneys have to deal with individual families who are going through the toughest period in their life. What makes it more difficult is the fact that sometimes, the result of the case doesn’t turn up the way we hope or expect it to be. We usually see who suffers the most, even under the best circumstances. Usually, it’s the children. However, adoption in Texas is not part of the depressing side of the practice. In fact, it’s one of the few types of cases wherein everyone can feel hopeful and bright. True, we can’t expect much humanity from people nowadays, but if you take time to watch court hearings regarding adoption, you’d see it. True, it’s mostly filled with tension and anxiety, but after all of that, when the adoption becomes successful, you’d see a beautiful sight. That is, the joy of new parents and children finding new parents. To commence the start of their parent-child relationship, the courtroom personnel, including the judge, hand out teddy bears and take photos with the new family. If you are witnessing this scene, you might wonder how this came to be. Everyone knows it’s not easy for couples who want a child to actually find a child to adopt and to be able to take that child home. What Does Adoption Mean? Adoption means that you will legally take on the rights and duties of being a parent to a child that is not biologically yours. This means that those rights that originally belonged to the biological parents will be legally transferred to you. For […]

Texas Adoption Tips

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Can the adopted child inherit from his or her adoptive parents? Yes. Under the Texas Probate Code, when a child is adopted legally or formally, they are treated in the same footing as a natural-born child of the adoptive parents. Therefore, if the decedent dies without a will, the adopted child has the same inheritance rights as the natural child. In cases of formal adoption, the state conducts an investigation to ensure that the adopting parents are qualified to adopt a child. The investigation may include but is not limited to inspecting their home and doing a background check on the applicants. The state must verify that the applicants have enough resources to provide for the adopted child. Once everything is in place, the judge then approves the petition for adoption. The adopted child will legally become the child of the adopting parents and he or she enjoys the same rights as a natural born child. This means that the inheritance rights of the adopted child extends not only to what he may inherit from the adopting parents but he or she will inherit from the adoptive parents’ decedents, such as the grandparents, and in some cases, uncles and aunts. Can the adopted child still inherit from his or her biological parents? Another issue at hand is whether or not the adopted child still has the right to inherit from his natural or biological parents. As a general rule, yes. The adopted child can inherit from both his or her birth parents and adoptive parents. This is only applicable if the natural or adoptive parents do not have testamentary wills and if there is no court order that especially prohibits a child to inherit from his or her natural parents. If the adoptive and natural parents have testamentary wills, their estate […]

What Can the Adopted Child Inherit?

stepchild adoption texas
Being a parent to a child doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be their biological parent. Parenthood can come in all forms. It can be from an uncle, aunt, grandparent, a close adult family friend, and even from a step-parent. While being step-parent may seem a little strange at first, it can result in a good parent-child relationship. Sometimes that relationship even grows so much that step-parents decide to take it further and adopt their step-children. Adoption Requirements Before a step-parent goes on to the adoption process, at least one of a few conditions must be met. Only one living biological parent remains and such a parent is absent. The parent has no involvement in the child’s life. The absent biological parent is okay with the adoption of the stepchild These are the conditions for the relinquishment of parental rights of the biological parent. The adoption process will begin once any of the conditions are met. The Adoption Process The adoption process is technically two steps: Relinquishing of the absent parent’s rights over their child The actual adoption process. The step-parent, together with their spouse, must file their petition to adopt their step-child at the local family court in the locality where the child resides. An evaluator will be then sent by the court to conduct a “social study” after the petition has been filed, a. This involves taking a closer look at the family by visiting their home and making observations. Employment and financial records are checked. Both the parents and the child are subjected to screening. After this, an amicus attorney is assigned to the child to look after the child’s best interests during the entire adoption process. Such an attorney will interview the step-parent, the biological parent, and the child. Once this is all done, the […]

How to Adopt Your Step-child in Texas

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After the divorce has been declared final, the two ex-spouses have to face their new lives. They have to live with the terms of the divorce. This includes matters on child custody, visitation rights, child support, and alimony.  There is a big possibility that one or both ex-spouses will remarry. This should not be an issue for the other parent. After divorce, both are no longer bound to each other, aside from the ties to their child. If your ex-husband has remarried, there is a possibility that the new stepmother would want to adopt your child.  Conditions for a Stepparent Adopting a Child The intention to adopt a child would arise when the stepparent is taking full-time responsibility for the child. They would want to evolve from being a “step-family” to a legitimate family. However, the law requires consideration for the other parent. If your child’s stepmother wants to adopt your child, then your own parental rights would have to be eliminated. This requires your consent. No one can force you to agree with adoption if you wish to retain any parental right to your child. In this case, the petition will have to move to court as your ex-husband and his new wife request to terminate your parental rights. They have to prove any of the following: That you have abandoned your child. This means you have not communicated with your child nor provided any form of financial support through a certain period of time. For many states, it is usually a year.  That you are an unfit parent. In this case, most states would recommend a fitness hearing if needed. If there is a tendency or actual instances of abuse or mental conditions that could pose harm to the child. Also, if they prove that you are a […]

Does my Ex-Spouse and His New Wife have the Right to Adopt My Child?

Adult Adoption in Texas
When hearing the word “adoption”, child adoption comes to mind by default rather than adult adoption. The latter goes through a much easier process than the former because not a lot of other individuals’ consent are needed for adoption to be successful. In Texas, a number of reasons why an adoption of an adult takes place. These are the most common reasons among others:  Adult-adoptee is in need of a custody or guardian The adopting parent has been treating the child as his or her own until it reached adulthood The adopting parent wants the adult-adoptee to inherit from him or her The adopting parent is well-bonded with a stepchild who is an adult There are a lot of advantages to adopting an adult. However, not many people in Texas are aware of the adult adoption process.  What the Law Requires Texas law requires that a petition with the appropriate court must be filed by the adoptive parent. The place where the adoptive parent lives or resides should be the place where the petition should be filed. If the adoptive parent who files the petition to adopt is married, the spouse must also be a party in the petition for adoption. The adult-adoptee must provide his or her consent to be adopted by the petitioner and the latter must have a written proof of this. Unlike in child adoption, it is not required to notify the parents or family of the adult-adoptee about the adoption. Only the consent of the adult-adoptee matter. After all the requirements have been met, a court hearing shall be set. The court might waive court attendance if good cause can be shown. When Adoption Will Not Be Permitted Adult adoption, like child adoption, can be denied for a number of reasons. One of the main […]

How to Adopt an Adult in Texas

Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Infertility, or when a woman is unable to conceive a child, is not a ground for divorce in Texas laws. Hence, it cannot be used as a means to dissolve a valid marriage. According to Texas family laws, there are only seven (7) grounds for divorce, and infertility does not fall into any of them. No-fault Divorce Generally, divorce grounds in Texas may be considered into two categories: the “no-fault” and “fault” divorces. One of the grounds falls under the “no-fault” divorce, one called “Insupportability” under the Texas Family Code, which is the first ground listed under such law. It basically means that neither party is solely responsible for the resulting divorce. Based on statute, it says, “on the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”  Fault Divorces The other six (6), as opposed to the first ground, are considered as “fault” divorces. This category is based on the assumption that one of the parties is at fault. Other Grounds for Divorce The second ground mentioned by the Family Code is Cruelty. What the statute says about it is that “the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable”.  The third one mentioned is Adultery, such as when “the other spouse has committed adultery”.  The fourth is Conviction of a Felony, wherein the provision laid out three (3) ways when the court may grant divorce: If, during the marriage, the other spouse has been convicted of a […]

Is Infertility a Ground for Divorce?

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I. What is Adoption Adoption is when a person legally takes on the rights and obligations of being a parent to a child that is not his or her biological child. This means that those rights that originally belonged to the biological parents will be legally transferred to another person who is unrelated to the child. The natural parents of the child cannot just take back their already adopted child. Adoption is permanent in nature. Once the parental rights and authority of the natural parents are terminated through adoption, it is deemed as if the adoptive parents become the natural parents of the adopted child. Parental authority will be exercised solely and exclusively by the adoptive parents. For married couples, if one spouse pursues an adoption, the rights and duties of raising the adopted child will also be transferred to the other spouse. As for the rights of the adopted child, he or she has equal rights to that of the legitimate child of the adopters, should they have any. Once you become a parent, you will have the responsibility to care for the child and make decisions for his or her best interests, just like any other biological parent. You will also have rights over the person of the child such as the custody of the child. II. Adoption Law in Texas Texas allows for adoption. There are a couple of legal formalities to go through. The reason for this is because an adoptive relationship is permanent in nature. There are certain laws and regulations which set apart the adoption process in Texas from that of other states. A few steps may slightly vary among agencies but the overall process still remains the same. If you want to adopt, it is important to consult with a lawyer and be […]

Adoption in Texas

Determining How Much Child Adoption Costs You'd Have To Pay in Texas
Child adoption costs are one of the major considerations potential adoptive parents have when they consider adopting a child in Texas. There are a lot of preparations you’d have to go through if you are planning to adopt a child in Texas. You should definitely consider the emotional aspects of the adoption, as well as the financial aspects. Adoption can take a long time, and you will have to go through a complicated process. You should know how much you should expect in terms of child adoption costs before you embark on your adoption process. Not knowing what to expect will likely lead to frustration during the process. Requirements For Child Adoption One of the things that make up the most of your child adoption costs in Texas is complying with the requirements. Before you come up with the requirements, you first need to figure out whether or not you are eligible to adopt a child. You have to be at least 21 years old before you can adopt a child. The court will also examine your financial status, so it is important to have stable finances and good background. This will show that you will be able to provide the needs of your adoptive child as well as a safe environment. You will have to provide references to verify your income, lifestyle, and habits. You will also have to subject yourself to a criminal background check. You have to make sure that you do not have any history of abuse, neglect or harm to children, as well as family violence. The Department of Family and Protective Services will also check if you have family members who have been subject to DFPS investigation in the past. Officers from the DFPS will also check and view your home to conduct a […]

Adoption Costs in Texas