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ADOPTION 

Our firm represents birth parents, prospective parents, stepparents, grandparents, family members, and others in adoption cases. We encourage you to seek legal advice if you are considering an adoption so you can protect your legal rights and avoid any unexpected issues. There are different types of adoptions in Texas:

Private/Independent Adoption
During a private adoption, we advise both the birth parents and the prospective parents to seek independent legal counsel during legal process, even if an adoption agency is providing services. 

Step-Parent Adoption
This type of adoption is very common, but it is also very different from other types of adoptions in Texas. In a step-parent adoption, the step-parent only has standing to file an adoption case if they have established a legal relationship with the child prior to filing the adoption case.

Grandparent/Family Member Adoption

Grandparent/family member adoptions are common when the grandparents or other family members wants to terminate the parent's rights because of one or more or more of the following:


(1) The parent(s) has passed away;
(2) The parent(s) will be incarcerated for a substantial period;
(3) The parent(s) struggles with substance abuse or an unsafe environment;
(4) The parent(s) struggles with physical or mental health issues or family violence that makes the parent(s) unfit.

Foster Parent Adoptions
Foster parents usually seek to adopt children who are involved in a CPS case, and the parent's rights have been terminated. 

Interstate Adoption
Interstate adoption is where a prospective parent is adopting a child from another state. In these types of adoptions the client needs an attorney in both states because both states have to comply with the Interstate Compact Regulations. The Interstate Compact Board provides one state the permission to bring the child to the other state. There are very strict requirements in these types of cases. 

FAQ


Does the birth father have rights?
A father that is not married to the birth mother generally does not have any rights without establishing his rights through a legal process, generally through a Statement of Paternity. The court may then determine whether the birth father is a legal father. 

What is the adoption agency's role?
The adoption agency usually acts as a intermediary between the birth parents and the prospective parents, and they helps facilitate the adoption. 

Can your firm advertise for me?
No, Texas Penal Code § 25.09 restricts any person, including an attorney, from advertising that a child is up for adoption or providing for or obtain a child who is for adoption. However, the code does allow licensed child-placement agency to engage in advertising. Our office recommends hiring a child-placement agency for this service. The agency will engage in the advertising and pair birth parents and prospective parents together. 

What expenses are the birth parents responsible for?
Generally the birth parents will not incur any cost directly related to the adoption. Rather the prospective parents will be responsible for medical, including mental health counseling, legal, and pregnancy cost associated with the adoption. 

What happens if the birth mother cannot afford cost indirectly related to the adoption?
Although the prospective parents cannot directly provide the birth mother with funds to pay for indirectly related expenses, the prospective parents can contact an agency who can provided the birth mother services. 

What is an open adoption?
In an open adoption, the birth parents and the adopting parents can choose the type and the level of contact they wish to establish. For example; first names only, pictures, regular visits, etc. 

How much is the Adoption Tax Credit?
As of 2015, the federal tax credit was up to $13,400 for qualified expenses, which include court cost, attorney fees, agency fees, travel expenses (including lodging and meals), and other expenses directly related to the adoption. 

The federal tax credit of $13,400 applies for qualified and non-qualified expenses for special needs adoptions. 


                         Discuss your adoptions options in a confidential consultation with an attorney in our office.

                                                                     Contact us by email or call us at 832-844-1677.