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San Antonio Adoption Attorney

San Antonio stepparent adoption attorney

San Antonio Adoption Lawyer Serving Bexar County

Children deserve to have a stable home and a loving family. While there are many children who do not have these resources, there are also a large number of prospective parents who are willing to provide these opportunities for children in need. In some cases, parents may wish to add to their families by providing a home for a child, while in others, stepparents may have established bonds with their spouse's children, and they may wish to become the legal parents of their stepchildren. Adoption creates a legal parent/child relationship that treats adoptive children the same as biological children. While this can be beneficial for everyone involved, there are specific legal procedures that will need to be followed, and by working with a family law attorney, parents can ensure that they will be prepared to provide for their children's needs in the years to come.

The law firm of Brandon Wong & Associates works with families in a wide variety of situations to help meet their legal needs. We understand the challenges that parents often face during the adoption process, and we can help you overcome any obstacles you may encounter. Whether you are planning to adopt an infant, provide a permanent home for children who are in the foster care system, or become the legal parent of your stepchild, we can ensure that you meet all of your legal requirements. Our goal is to make sure you will have the resources to help your family succeed in the future.

Legal Representation in Domestic Adoption Cases

Parents may have multiple options as they plan to adopt a child. Private adoptions may be arranged by working with an adoption agency, or adoptive parents may connect with a child's biological parent(s) and create an agreement in which they will adopt the child after he or she is born. In other cases, people who serve as foster parents in situations where children's biological parents are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary care may choose to legally adopt the children in their care and provide them with a permanent home.

When adopting a child, parents will need to meet certain legal requirements. They will also need to complete a home study in which Child Protective Services will evaluate their situation to ensure that they will be able to provide the necessary care. A home study may consist of interviews with the parents and other family members to gain information about their motivation for adopting a child, their family relationships, the physical and mental health status of the parents or others in the home, and other factors that may affect their adoptive children. CPS officials may also visit the parents' home to verify that they can provide a place for children to live while meeting their daily needs.

Before a child can be adopted, the parental rights of the biological parents must be terminated. While this may not be a significant issue in a private adoption, there are some cases where stepparents or foster parents may struggle to adopt a child because a biological parent may not be willing to voluntarily terminate their parental rights. However, a court may order a parent's rights to be terminated in cases where a parent has abandoned or failed to support their child, a parent has endangered the child or engaged in criminal conduct, or the court determines that the parent is otherwise unfit. In these situations, our attorneys can help parents understand the proper steps to take to show why a parent's rights should be terminated and why adoption would be in the child's best interests.

Adoption FAQs

How Does Adoption Work in Texas?

There are many paths to adoption in Texas. The process depends on the type of adoption. If you are adopting a child who is already a member of your family - for example, if your sister has passed away and you are adopting her children - the process may be more streamlined, requiring little more than a judge’s approval. Agency adoptions can be a bit more complex. You will need to complete a more rigorous screening process. If you would like to adopt a child you are fostering, you have likely already been through quite a bit of screening, making the adoption process somewhat easier. All adoptions must be approved by a court.

How Long Does Adoption Take in Texas?

How long the process will take depends on the type of adoption. Agency adoptions normally take longer than family or foster adoptions. Adopting a child through an agency normally takes roughly a year, give or take up to six months.

How do I Start the Adoption Process in Texas?

It is a good idea to contact an adoption attorney before reaching out to an agency or otherwise starting the process. Your first steps will depend on the type of adoption. Agency adoptions normally begin with filing an application to adopt, while family adoptions can be initiated by your attorney filing paperwork with the court.

How Much Does Adoption Cost in Texas?

The cost can vary significantly between agencies. Adopting a child from oversees is usually the most costly type of adoption, while family adoption may cost little. Adoptive parents in Texas should expect to spend around $5,000, although the cost can reach into the tens of thousands for more complicated adoptions.

What will Disqualify you from Adopting a Child?

There are a few reasons people may be disqualified from adopting. Those under the age of 21 may not adopt. Health conditions, including mental illnesses, that could affect a person’s ability to parent a child may also disqualify some individuals. Having a criminal record disqualifies some. If your criminal history is minor and does not involve violence - for example, if you have a DWI or minor marijuana possession charges - you may still be approved. However, violent offenses and sex crimes are generally hard bars.

How Can an Adoption Lawyer Help me?

Adoption is complicated, and an attorney can guide you through the entire process. An attorney can help resolve any complications that may arise during the process in addition to advocating for you during the screening process. Your attorney can also take care of the legal formalities and represent you in court at your eventual adoption hearing.

Contact Our Bexar County Adoption Lawyers

Adoption cases can be complicated, but with the right attorney on your side, you can make sure you will be able to provide the stable, loving home that your child needs and deserves. To learn how we can help you complete the adoption process successfully, contact our firm by calling 210-201-3832 and arranging an initial consultation.

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