There is nothing more important to a child than having a loving family. Caring parents are essential to a good upbringing. Unfortunately, some children do not have parents and are in need of adoption. At the same time, there are many couples who want to provide a good environment for a child. Adopting a child can be the ideal way to add to your family. When you want to adopt a child, you must go through a legal process. Adoption allows you to become the legal parent of a child. An experienced adoption attorney will help you through the adoption process.
What are the Types of Adoptions?
Adoptions may be done through the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or may be done privately. There are various forms of adoption, including:
Infant adoptions happen when a child is a newborn or shortly thereafter. Infant adoptions are most often accomplished privately. An adoptive family usually works through an agency to get matched with a pregnant person who is planning on giving up the baby at birth. It is essential to seek legal guidance to ensure that the adoption takes place legally and that the birth parents properly approve of the adoption.
Adoption of Foster Child
Foster children are those who are in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. These types of adoptions are considered public. Foster children are minors that may be any age. DFPS may place a child in foster care prior to adoption.
Many times a parent is physically or mentally unable to properly care for their child. A relative such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle may want to adopt the child. This may also happen in situations where the child’s biological parents are deceased. A relative adoption is a slightly easier path, in some cases, than other types of adoptions.
Stepparent adoptions occur when a parent remarries and the stepparent wishes to become the child’s legal parent. This type of adoption typically requires the biological parent to relinquish or give up their parenting rights so that the child can be legally adopted. When that occurs, the biological parent is no longer responsible for the child. Stepparent adoptions may take less time than other types of adoptions.
Adoptions Outside the United States
International adoptions are quite common due to the need for adoptive parents across the world. International adoptions may often take longer than other adoptions. You will need to meet the requirements of the adoption agency that you choose. You will likely need to travel to the country to pick up your child and return to the United States. After you complete an international adoption, you may wish to go through the readoption process to establish citizenship for your child.
Texas and all 50 states are part of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The ICPC is an agreement that provides for uniform adoption processes across the country. It allows for the protection of children’s rights no matter which states they reside in. Every state still follows its own laws regarding adoption, however, they conform to the agreement between states. It allows for children to be placed in the best family, regardless of where they live.
The Adoption Process - What to Expect
The adoption process begins with your application. You must meet the qualifications for adoption. Generally, you must be at least 21 years of age and have a stable income. You will need to go through the application and interview processes. Adoption through the DFPS provides adoptive parents with a training course. This is a 35-hour education program called Parent Resource Information Development Education, known as PRIDE.
One of the most important parts of most types of adoptions is the home study. A representative will visit your home to ensure that the environment is safe and meets their standards. The home study also usually includes five post-adoption home visits. When a child is placed through the DFPS, the placement is temporary pending final approval.
Once you qualify as an adoptive parent, you will be ready to match with an adoptive child. The adoption process can take some time, and you will want to make sure that you follow the laws that pertain to adoption with help from a qualified Texas adoption attorney.
What is an Open Adoption?
An open adoption is one in which there is an agreement between the biological parent and the adoptive parent. The agreement may allow the child to know the names of his or her biological parents. It may also include specific guidance that gives permission for contact between the child and biological parents. This is an agreement made between parties through the adoption agency. An agreement is unique to each adoption based on the specific requests and requirements of the parties. It is advisable to seek legal assistance from an adoption attorney to review and approve any type of adoption contract or agreement.
How an Adoption Attorney Will Help
Although an attorney is not required to complete an adoption, it is often in your best interest to seek guidance from a qualified adoption attorney. Adoptions must follow all legal requirements. It is important to understand the documents you must sign before you make an agreement. Adoption paperwork can be technical, and it is extremely beneficial to have your attorney review and explain the documents to you before you approve it. You certainly want to avoid any potential issues that could arise later that might cause problems with the adoption.
The decision to adopt is one of the most important choices you will make. Adoption will allow you the opportunity to enrich the life of a child, along with the lives of everyone in your family. While adoption can be extremely rewarding, the process can also prove to be a somewhat daunting experience. A skilled adoption attorney understands the process and will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the adoption.
Considering adoption? Let the skilled adoption attorneys at Sosa Law help! Learn more about the adoption process. Call Sosa Law at (956) 317-5445.