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Frisco Adoption Attorney

McKinney TX adoption lawyer

Lawyer for Stepparent and Grandparent Adoptions in Collin County and Surrounding Areas

Adoption can provide a child with a stable home, a loving parental figure, and many other benefits. If you already have a relationship with a child who would benefit from adoption—for example, if you are the child's stepparent, grandparent, or another close relative—it may be especially important to you to proceed with the adoption and solidify your standing as the child's legal parent. However, while stepparent and related adoptions tend to be more straightforward than other types of adoption, you may still encounter legal challenges in your efforts to complete the adoption process.

At the Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr., we can help you address these challenges and work to ensure that your adoption goes as smoothly as possible. With 20 years of legal experience, we understand the complicated issues that often arise in stepparent and related adoptions, and we will advise and represent you in your efforts to resolve them and demonstrate that the adoption is in the child's best interests.

Requirements for Stepparent and Relative Adoptions in Texas

It is common for a child's stepparent, grandparent, or another relative such as an aunt, uncle, or sibling, to be interested in adopting the child, especially if the child's biological parents are unable, unfit, or uninterested in raising the child. In Texas, stepparent and related adoptions are certainly possible, but the legal adoption process includes several important steps that the adoptive parents must address. These include:

  • Obtaining consent - If the child is currently under the managing conservatorship of another party, you will need to obtain the consent of the conservator. In most cases, a child who is at least 12 years old must also consent to his or her own adoption. If you are married, you must be sure that your spouse is willing to join you in the adoption petition.
  • Terminating parental rights - Perhaps the most challenging part of a stepparent or related adoption is terminating the parental rights of the child's current legal parents, provided that they are still living. In a stepparent adoption, the petitioner's spouse will typically retain parental rights, and only the other parent's rights must be terminated. In a related adoption, both parents' rights may need to be terminated. A parent may be willing to sign an Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights, but if not, you will need to petition the court for termination. Parental rights may be terminated for a variety of reasons, including abandonment or endangerment of the child, failure to provide child support or respond to a paternity suit, imprisonment, or conviction of a violent or sexual crime against a child or the child's other parent.
  • Completing an adoption evaluation and residence requirement - Before an adoption is approved, a qualified evaluator such as a social worker, counselor, or family therapist will need to conduct an evaluation of the home and social environment provided by the prospective parent(s). Generally, the child must also reside with the prospective parent(s) for at least six months before the adoption can be finalized, though this requirement may be waived in the child's best interests.

Effects of Adoption

If the court approves your adoption, you will become the child's legal parent and assume all of the rights and responsibilities that this relationship entails. This means that you will be responsible for the child's care and financial support, and that you will have the authority to make important decisions regarding the child's healthcare and education. Adoption also solidifies important financial benefits for the child, including inheritance rights in the event of your death, insurance coverage under your plans, and more.

Contact a Dallas County Adoption Lawyer

If you are looking to adopt your stepchild, grandchild, niece, nephew, or another child who is related to you, we can help. For an initial consultation, contact our office today at 972-954-6455. We handle adoption and other family law cases in Dallas County, Collin County, Denton County, Tarrant County, Rockwall County, Hunt County, Sherman County, and the surrounding areas, including Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Prosper, Little Elm, Plano, The Colony, and Denton.

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