Montgomery County Adoption Attorneys
Experienced Trial Lawyers to Help You Unite Your Family in Conroe, the Woodlands, and Bentwater
Adoption is a very exciting prospect for any family. If you are looking to welcome a new member to your family, whether through private agency adoption or a stepchild adoption, our adoption lawyers at Steinmann Law Firm can help. We have decades of experience advocating for parents in trial, and we will help you navigate all the adoption laws and legal proceedings for completing an adoption. We will make the adoption process easy and seamless for you, as it should be when you and your family are entering an exciting new phase in life.
Schedule an initial consultation with Steinmann Law Firm today to get started on your adoption. Bilingual Spanish-speaking services available.
Who Can Adopt in Texas?
According to the Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas, single or married adults are eligible to adopt a child if they meet the following requirements:
- Are 21 years or older
- Are financially stable
- Are responsible and mature
- Share the necessary background information and lifestyle information
- Provide requested references
- Provide proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable)
Adoptions can be closed or open. An open adoption is when the birth parents and adoptive parents agree to keep in contact throughout the child’s life, such as through pictures, letters, email, phone calls, or in-person visits. Most agency adoptions will have the birth parents and adoptive parents sign a legally enforceable contact agreement that specifies the type and frequency of such contact.
Termination of Parental Rights
One important step in some adoptions is the termination of parental rights. The law establishes that children may only have one set of legal parents, so adoption requires that the parental rights of the biological parent(s) who will not be parenting the child be terminated to make room for the new adoptive parent(s).
Termination of parental rights will be required in a stepparent adoption, as the parental rights of the biological parent who will no longer be the legal parent of the child moving forward should be terminated for the new adoptive stepparent.
A parent’s rights may be terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary termination can occur in a couple of different ways:
- a parent can bring their own lawsuit to terminate their own parental rights;
- the parent can sign an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment, or an alleged father can sign an affidavit waiving interest, after which the court will approve the termination of their parental rights.
In the case of involuntary termination, the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that termination is in the best interests of the child and is supported by one of the following legal reasons:
- The parent abandoned the child or otherwise did not support them
- The parent committed a crime or engaged in criminal conduct
- The parent endangered the child
- The parent is otherwise unfit to care for their child
The adoption process will require a number of steps involving studies and reports on the prospective parents, the proposed home environment, and the child’s integration into the family environment. The purpose of these studies is for the court to better understand whether transferring parental rights to the adoptive parents is best for the child. The reports will also provide important information about whether the adoptive parents are able to properly care for the adopted child.
The studies and reports that will be collected include:
- Evaluations of the proposed home environments where the child will live
- Observations of the child in the proposed home environments
- Personal interviews of the prospective parents and the child
- Assessments of the child’s relationship with all other adults residing in the proposed home
- Criminal history reports for anyone living in the relevant homes
The reports should typically include medical, social, educational, and genetic information relevant to the adopted child.
Adoption is a wonderful new stage for any family, but the legal procedure can feel overwhelming. Steinmann Law Firm is here to help you navigate the adoption process smoothly so you can focus on cultivating a healthy new home environment for your new child. Let us take care of the legal side while you take care of your family.
Schedule a consultation with Steinmann Law Firm for more information on your next steps in the adoption process.
“I Highly recommend this law firm to anyone in need of their services. Lawyers are everywhere, easily found. A great lawyer is however, rather hard to find.”
Super Attentive and Informative.
“Bert was super attentive and informative. He took my call on a Sunday and had me in within 24 hours. Made me feel a lot more confident after speaking to him.”
Mr. Steinmann is a life saver.
“Mr. Steinmann is a life saver, he agreed to take on my case even after it was closed because he felt it wasn't right.”