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 married couples, if one spouse pursues with an adoption, the rights and duties of raising a child will also be transferred to the other spouse. Once the rights and duties are legally transferred, you won’t be an adoptive parent – you will just be a parent.
Once you become a parent, you will have to care for the child and make decisions for his or her best interests, just like any other biological parent. For the adoption to take place, the court must first terminate the rights of the biological parents. This way, you’d be able to replace them in terms of rights and duties.
In order to terminate the rights of the biological parents, they must sign an agreement. If this is not possible, then the court will terminate their rights according to certain laws. Their rights can be terminated based on abuse, neglect and even being an absentee parent. The judge can determine whether the biological parents’ rights to the child must be terminated or not according to the child’s best interest.
The judge will also determine whether you are fit to receive the transfer of the rights, according to the best interest of the child.
How to Start the Adoption Process
If you want to be a parent, the adoption case must be successful. But first, how do you get the adoption process going? If you want to increase your chances of succeeding with the adoption case, you should provide proof that you have a good relationship with the child. Aside from that, you should also be able to show that you are capable of providing continuous care for the child. That means the child must live with you for at least six months before the finalization of the adoption case.
A study will also be conducted regarding the potential environment the child will have in your residence. Also, if the child you want to adopt is older than 12 years old, you should also receive approval from the child regarding the adoption.
Learning More About The Adoption Process
The study of the potential permanent home environment of the child will be done by a social worker. A social worker will be appointed by the court for your case and he or she will investigate your home. The areas of examination will include the physical structure of the home as well as the living conditions you have. Your parenting methods will also be evaluated, and your background information will be appropriately reviewed. There will also be a criminal history verification. Once the social worker will provide approval of your home, the court will appoint an amicus attorney.
An amicus attorney will serve as the eyes and ears of the court. He or she will do things that are similar to that of the social worker’s, only it’ll be more on the legal sense of the case. This is where a family lawyer steps in. If you hire an experienced family attorney, he will work with the amicus attorney until the amicus attorney will provide the go signal. Once that happens, the court will schedule a hearing wherein your paperwork will be assessed. There will then be a final hearing where everyone with a significant role in the case will have to be present. The child who will be adopted will also be present.
If you are seriously considering adoption, or if you already have an ongoing case, it would be wise to hire a family lawyer to guide you through it.
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