Lake Jackson Adoption Lawyers
Personable and Compassionate Advocates Uniting Your Family
At JM Davis Law PLLC, we take a personable and compassionate approach to all our clients’ cases, especially when they are as important as those bringing a family together. Adoption can be a difficult process to navigate legally, as it entails many detailed steps from collecting documents to participating in interviews with the state. Our adoption lawyers at JM Davis Law PLLC can walk you through every step of the way and provide you with the individualized attention you deserve to unite your Lake Jackson family.
Requirements for Adoption
Texas has certain eligibility requirements for individuals interested in adopting in the state. The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) establishes that prospective adoptive parents can be either single or married and must meet the following criteria:
- be at least 21 years old;
- be financially stable;
- be responsible and mature;
- complete a formal application to adopt;
- share background and lifestyle information;
- provide references;
- provide proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable);
- complete a home study;
- submit to criminal background and child abuse checks on all adults living in the household.
Note that if a married person seeks to adopt a child, their spouse must join the petition for adoption. Additionally, if the child is at least 12 years old, they must personally consent to the adoption unless the court waives this requirement for the reason that it is in the child’s best interest.
As seen above, adoption requires a number of important reports and studies to show the court that transferring parental rights to the prospective adoptive parents is best for the child. These reports will generally include health, social, education, and genetic information about the child. The studies conducted will likely entail:
- personal interviews of the adoptive parents and the child;
- evaluations of home environments where the child might live;
- observations of the child in different home environments;
- assessments of the child’s relationship with the involved adults.
Keep in mind that the court’s main consideration for making its final decision is the child’s best interests. After hearing the testimony of the involved parties and examining the required reports and studies, the court will make its final decision in the adoption process.
Stepparent Adoption and Termination of Parental Rights
One specific category of adoption is stepparent adoption. Stepparents can petition to adopt their spouse’s biological children. Note that the parental rights of the other parent must be terminated in order for the stepparent to legally adopt the children. This can be done through either voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights, depending on the situation.
In the case of voluntary termination, the parent whose rights will be terminated will file for termination on their own. In the case of involuntary termination, a court may order termination of a parent’s rights if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that termination is in the best interest of the child and is supported by one of the following legal reasons for termination of parental rights:
- The parent abandoned or did not support the child.
- The parent endangered the child.
- The parent engaged in criminal conduct.
- The parent is otherwise unfit.
Visit our Terminations page to learn more about this process.
Contact JM Davis Law PLLC for Legal Guidance
If you are interested in adopting in Texas, consult an experienced adoption lawyer immediately for legal support. The legal process of adoption can be complex to navigate, and it is best to have a legal eye on your case to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently. As adoption can entail numerous interviews, studies, and gathering of criminal and legal information, you will benefit from having an attorney handle the legal elements of your adoption while you focus on the mental and emotional. Our legal team at JM Davis Law PLLC can work with you to develop an individualized strategy to bringing your family together in Lake Jackson, Texas.