Fort Worth Stepchild Adoption Attorneys
Adopting a stepchild is a wonderful time for any family; there are few more meaningful ways to bring a family closer together. It symbolizes and legally recognizes the care and unity that stepparents feel toward their stepchildren as two families combine. In Texas, as with all forms of adoption, the legal process of stepchild adoption can become quite complicated. There are many steps that must be taken and requirements that must be met.
At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, we have years of experience helping families through the stepchild adoption process, and we are standing by to help you, too. To start the adoption process today, contact one of our Fort Worth stepchild adoption attorneys at (817) 335-9600 for a free consultation about the details of your case.
Do I Need a Stepchild Adoption Attorney?
Certain conditions must be met in order to adopt a stepchild, and the legal process can be quite long before a stepparent is recognized as a legal parent to their stepchild. Having an attorney on your side means that you know exactly what to expect with regards to necessary paperwork, timelines, and requirements that must be fulfilled. An attorney can easily anticipate and mitigate any complications or delays in the adoption process and help you prepare for home visits or hearings so that you are able to be a legally united family as quickly as possible.
Why Choose The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC to Handle My Case?
A family firm, The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC has been practicing family law and helping the Fort Worth area for over 50 years. We know the community and do our best to help our clients, whose trust we highly value. We aggressively work our cases to provide our clients with a thorough understanding of the legal process as we help them achieve their goals of adoption. We are always happy to bring families together, and we will work with your family with compassion and excitement for this time in your lives. With our dedication and care, we help our clients get the results they want.
Texas Stepchild Adoption Process
There is a specific legal procedure for stepchild adoption. This process is different from other kinds of adoptions since the child will be living with one of their biological parents. The process is generally as follows:
Filing a Petition
The stepchild adoption process begins with filing a petition to the court. This document puts into motion two of the next steps of the adoption process: the termination of one biological parent’s rights, and the adoption of the child by the other biological parent’s spouse (the stepparent). This process can begin before a child is born, although a child usually must be at least five days old for the petition to be granted.
Terminating Parental Rights
For a biological parent’s rights to be terminated, certain conditions must apply. The biological parent must be:
- Indifferent or uninvolved in the child’s life
After the necessary paperwork is filed to request adoption, our attorneys can move forward with the termination of parental rights for the absent parent. This is achieved with the signature of that parent if they are known and alive. If that parent refuses to sign, then the case will move to court. In court, our lawyers will build a case for you, and the judge will decide whether it is in the best interest of the child and other parties involved to terminate the rights of the second biological parent, regardless of their desires.
To ensure that the stepparent is a good, secure, and safe candidate for adoption, a social study is a necessary part of the legal process. It includes home visits, evaluating the stepparent’s employment and financial records, observations with the child in their home environment, and contact with collateral sources. With this information, the judge can further determine the fitness of this adoption.
Appointing an Amicus Attorney
If the social study goes well, then an Amicus Attorney, a “friend of the court,” will serve as a neutral lawyer who will repeat many of the steps taken during the social study. This person will go into more depth through evaluations of the child, parents, and other people involved in the child’s life. Their impression of the situation and a recommendation of whether the adoption should go through will then be presented to the court.
Contact a Stepchild Adoption Attorney Today
Don’t hesitate to get started on the incredibly rewarding process of completing your family. Make the legal process of your stepchild adoption much easier by enlisting the help of the experienced adoption attorneys at The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC. Contact us today at (817) 335-9600 or online for a free consultation.