In any situation involving adoption of a minor, the court’s primary objective is to do what it is in the best interest of the child. In order to best benefit from the adoption process in the state of Texas, working with a qualified family law attorney is of vital importance. When it comes to both step parent and grandparent adoptions, there are a number of considerations to make while going through the process in order to ensure that the adoption goes smoothly.
The overall process of adoption can be both long and complicated when you consider waiting periods, adoption hearings and paperwork. Working with an attorney is the best way to make sure that the paperwork and hearings are conducted properly, and that nothing delays or halts the process. This is especially important when you are considering the best interest of the child, and trying to provide consistency and a stable environment.
In order for a child to be eligible for a step parent adoption, the legal rights to the child must have been given up by one of the birth parents. A child can only legally have two guardians, typically a father and a mother, though there are situations where other combinations can be created. In order for a grandparent adoption to be successful, both parents will have to have given up their legal rights to the child. Additionally, in order for the child to be eligible for step parent or grandparent adoption, he or she must have spent the previous six months before the adoption hearing living in the custody of the prospective adopters. If one or both of the biological parents has refused to terminate their legal parental rights, then the process of adoption cannot move forward unless there are extenuating circumstances that make this unnecessary.
If a parent has died or become legally incompetent, if the parent has been incarcerated during the period of 90 days before the adoption petition, if there is proof that the parent has abandoned or refused to support the child or if the parents have been divorced for 90 days or longer, or are in the process of divorce, then the biological parent does not have to legally terminate his or her parental rights. The same is true if the child has been living with the prospective adopters for between six and twenty four months or if the child has been proven to be a victim of neglect or violence from the legal guardian.
If the child in question is over the age of sixteen, then written permission must be obtained from the minor regarding the adoption in order for it to be valid. The child only has to provide agreement of the terms of the adoption if he or she has aged past sixteen, otherwise it is not necessary.
Although the adoption process can be lengthy when a step parent or grandparent is involved, it is rewarding when the needs of the child are finally met.