Our Adoption Practice covers Tarrant, Johnson, Parker, Denton, Palo Pinto and Wise counties.
Most people do not understand adoption. Birth parents are fearful that the child will hate them or grow up emotionally scarred by the adoption. Adoptive parents are fearful that if they adopt a child the biological parents have a hidden right to re-claim the child at a later date causing untold emotional distress to the adoptive parents.
Some people have heard of an “open adoption” but don’t really know what that means. Others would love to raise a child, but only want to adopt a baby. Thanks to media seeking ratings, there is considerable confusion and misinformation about adoption.
If you are serious about adoption, a consultation can be arranged with Andrew Stasio to discuss your situation.
1. Adopting A Child
Adoption is a legal process where loving birth parents, acting in the best interest of their child, place the child with an adoptive couple they feel can provide a nurturing environment to raise their child. Adoption is a permanent placement of the child with the birth parents terminating their parental rights and the court granting parental rights and duties to the adoptive parents.
Anyone seeking to adopt a child should have a qualified attorney to guide them through the process. The attorney will educate the adoptive parents on the legal process and make certain that the law is strictly followed so there is no danger of the adoption being over turned by a court. It is very important to seek legal counsel where the birth mother and adoptive parents reside in different states, as the Interstate Compact must be followed for there to be a valid adoption.
2. Step-Parent Adoption
Here the spouse of one parent (usually the husband of the child’s mother) seeks to adopt the child. The process involves a lawsuit to terminate the parental rights of the other parent (usually the father of the child) either voluntarily or involuntarily and for the court to grant the adoption by the adoptive spouse.
3. Agency Adoption Versus Private Adoption
Agency adoptions usually involve either the adoption of an international child or a young birth mother who resides at the agency’s facility during the pregnancy. The agency terminates the birth parents’ parental rights and places the child with a couple who pay the agency a fee for its services. Private adoption involves the birth mother or birth parents placing the child with a couple who handle the legal process. The laws in the State of Texas are strict as to what expenses of the birth mother can be paid in private adoption, and it is a crime to pay anyone for a child.
4. Assuring That The Birth Parents Won’t Try To Reclaim The Child
If the adoptive parents carefully follow the legal process, the adoption will be final and the birth parents will have no rights to enforce or rights to regain custody of the child. Care must be taken to properly identify the birth father and to comply with the time restrictions in the law pertaining to executing documents and terminating parental rights.
5. Choosing Adoptive Parents
The birth mother may have relatives or family friends who are qualified and willing to be adoptive parents. The birth mother can have an attorney represent her and deal with an agency who will assist in the placement with the birth mother having the final decision. In choosing adoptive parents is it possible to have enforceable agreements for regular pictures or occasional visits with the child after the adoption, if all parties agree.
6. Costs of Adoption?
Agencies set their own fees for adoption. Private adoptions involve primarily legal fees and expenses. These vary based on the issues involved in the adoption, but can be estimated by the attorney after review of the facts of each adoption. The range for legal fees and expenses would usually be between $2,500.00 - $4,000.000 for step parent adoption; adoption of unrelated children is $3,000.00 - $7500.00. Call to discuss your unique situation.
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