Do I Need an Adoption Attorney in Texas?
Adopting a child is one of the most joyous moments in the life of a family. With so many children waiting for adoption, it can be a viable solution for a family that is ready to add another child, or perhaps their first child, to their happy home. In fact, there are over 100,000 children adopted each year in the United States alone.
While there might be nothing as exciting as formally welcoming a child that you love into your home and family, there are a number of steps and hurdles to navigate before that dream becomes a reality. Like anything else, however, there are systems and regulations in place that dictate the process you will have to follow. Laws, of course, will vary depending on where you live, but if you are considering adoption, it’s important to know what the laws are in your state, and chances are you will need an adoption attorney. This article will explore the adoption process in Texas and whether an attorney is needed.
What is the Role of a Texas Adoption Attorney?
There are a variety of ways in which a Texas adoption attorney is necessary. The adoption process can be convoluted and complex, and an attorney can make sure you are taking all the right steps. For instance, if you are adopting a child that resides outside of the state of Texas, your adoption attorney will make sure you are abiding by the laws of both states in order to circumvent any potential issues. Below are just a few additional tasks your adoption attorney will take on.
Develop an Optimized Adoption Strategy
Especially if you are at the beginning stages of the adoption process, or maybe even just starting to consider the notion, you might not even be aware that a strategy is necessary. You’ll soon become aware, if you haven’t already, that there are way too many decisions and requirements involved to just “wing” it. An experienced adoption attorney can work with you to develop a personalized strategy detailing such things as private versus agency adoptions, open versus closed, when and where the adoption will be filed, expenses and fees you will be expected to pay, among many others. With a formal adoption strategy, optimized for your individual needs, the element of surprise will be minimized, and you will always know what steps remain in the process.
Determine Which Type of Adoption is Best for You
There are several different types of adoption to choose from and your adoption attorney can help you decide which type is best for you. For instance, you might choose to adopt internationally or from the foster care system. You may decide that a private adoption from a mother with an unwanted pregnancy is what you want, or even find yourself faced with a situation in which you are interested in adopting a family member, including stepchildren. These are important decisions to make and each one has its own set of pros and cons, as well as limitations and liabilities. Your adoption attorney can provide the information and resources you need to make the best possible decision for your family.
Knowledge of Laws and Special Requirements
With so many types of adoptions available, each one with its own set of rules and laws, it’s imperative that you work with an adoption attorney to ensure all applicable laws and guidelines are followed. Adoptions are emotional experiences fraught with challenges and potential missteps. With considerations ranging from the amount you are legally allowed to pay a birth mother to what to do if your surrogate suddenly changes her mind, an adoption attorney is an invaluable asset to your team. There are enough potential innate challenges involved in the adoption process without accidentally triggering additional issues that might delay the adoption process or perhaps halt it altogether. An adoption attorney can help you circumvent those issues.
Navigate the Texas Adoption Process
The state of Texas has a specific set of steps each potential adoptive parent is required to navigate. The first step is an information session where parents are informed of the process and steps they must complete. The next step involves meeting with Protective Services staff so they can assess your qualifications and determine your suitability as a parent. The following step involves training utilizing a specially designed program called Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE), instructing on basic childcare as well as specialized information depending on the needs of individual parents. Three additional trainings are also required beyond that of PRIDE. Finally, a home study is conducted by a caseworker to further determine your appropriateness to become a candidate for adoption. Your adoption attorney will expertly guide you through this process making sure you do not miss a single stop and providing expertise to assist with any roadblocks along the way.
Avoid Adoption Scams
It’s sad to think that this sort of thing really happens, but adoption scams are a real thing. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous people and agencies just waiting for their chance to prey upon kindhearted people yearning for a child to adopt. An adoption attorney will ensure that all agencies and individuals involved in your adoption process are in compliance with all applicable laws pertaining to your adoption.
Is Adoption Right for You?
Adoption can be an exciting solution for families that wish to bring a child or children into their home, but it’s important to remember that with the excitement of adoption, also comes great responsibility. As would be the case with a biological child as well, you must be financially and emotionally stable and be prepared to make a lifelong commitment to your child. Also remember that in the event of a legal separation or divorce, both adoptive parents are still responsible for the child.
If you have decided that adoption is right for you, then consider contacting The Overstreet Law Firm at (817) 809-6643 today. Their experienced staff can provide all the information, resources, and assistance you need to start your adoption process.