Individuals that are considering adopting a new child are no doubt excited about the possibility of growing their family. While this is an exciting time, the truth is that adoption can be a lengthy legal process. This requires time and expertise to navigate each legal challenge in an adoption case so that you can arrive at your desired outcome expanding your family.
Because the safety of every child is the first and most important consideration in any adoption decision, there are key steps that must be followed in order to ensure a safe and successful adoption in Texas. Having an experienced family law attorney on your side can help you get through the legal steps for adoption compared to trying to go through this process alone.
As a child of adoption myself, I am passionate about helping parents that are looking to grow their family. Plus, I have the legal experience to anticipate each challenge that will arise. When you are looking for an adoption attorney near you to support your case, you can turn to me for expert support.
Adoption Laws to Consider in Texas
The first step in the process of legal adoption in Texas is to ensure that you qualify to adopt. Like every state, there are certain requirements that need to be met in Texas before you can even be considered for adoption. These requirements include:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a stable job that provides enough income for you to be considered stable and self-sufficient
- Complete the adoption application, including providing references and proof of marriage or divorce (if needed)
- Complete a home study where a social worker visits your home and learns about your home life
- Have all adults in the house submit to a fingerprint and criminal background check
In general, these requirements are set up to encourage anyone who is capable of considering adoption while also protecting children from a potentially poor home environment and upbringing. With so many children waiting on a new home in Texas, the state has tried to simplify the adoption process. With me by your side, I can help make the process even smoother!
A Typical Adoption Timeline in Texas
While there is no “official” adoption timeline, in general, you can expect the adoption process to be completed in about six months to a year. The time can vary quite a bit depending on certain factors:
- The age of the child(ren) you would like to adopt
- Whether or not you are looking for domestic or international adoption
- The number of children involved in the adoption
- Whether the adoption involves a stepchild
- Previous life experiences for each child (e.g. early-years trauma that could slow the timeline to ensure the child will be placed in a better situation)
- If the child is not yet born, then delays from the birth mother not being 100% committed to giving up the child through adoption
Each case is unique, so there could be other additional circumstances or situations that impact the timeline. If you are facing a unique or complicated situation, then I can help you address the situation as best as possible to make sure the adoption timeline does not drag on longer than it should.
The Importance of the Home Study in An Adoption Case
One of the most important steps in the adoption process is to complete the home study. In these home visits, caseworker(s) will come to your home several times over a period of weeks or months in order to get an idea of what your home life is like.
- Does it seem stable?
- Is it a warm, nurturing environment?
- Is there room for the child to live and grow?
- Will he or she have private space?
- Are there pets?
- How often are parents home?
These are just some of the questions that the caseworker will attempt to answer as he or she gets to know you and your family. Working with me, you can be assured that you’ll be more than ready to put your best foot forward during these visits.
Finalizing The Adoption in Texas
Once the adoption is finalized, and the child has been placed in your care, the last step is to complete another series of home visits to see how the child is faring in the new home environment.
These visits are intended to make sure the child is being taken care of and has integrated well into his or her new family. You can expect at least five visits over the course of a few weeks before the caseworker signs off on the adoption.
Once this step is complete, then you can consider the adoption officially complete! Your new child is now an official part of your family.
Work With A Local Adoption Attorney to Support Your Case
If you’re ready to go through the adoption process in Texas, I am ready to help you every step of the way. I recommend working with a local family law attorney near you that understands how things work at a local level, is accessible to support new challenges that come up along the way, and can provide you with the resources you need for successful adoption.
I have helped many families in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County navigate the legal adoption process in Texas. Please contact me today so that I can help you on the path to finalizing the perfect addition to your family.
You can reach my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to find legal support with an adoption. Let’s get to work!