Understanding Private Adoptions in Dallas, Texas
If you are contemplating adoption, then you already know that it is the legal mechanism that allows a child to gain a parent who is not their birth parent. Adoption is a lifelong, permanent commitment from a parent or parents to a child.
With a private domestic adoption, a Texas adult can hire a Dallas family attorney to handle the legal paperwork for adoption. A private domestic adoption occurs when you opt for a legal proceeding without the involvement of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS).
There are many scenarios where private adoption is chosen, but the vast majority include a family member adopting another family member’s child.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about who can adopt and how adoptions work in Texas. While a Dallas family lawyer is in the best position to explain how the adoption laws affect your particular circumstances, the following is an overview of what is required to adopt in Texas.
The Best Interests of the Child
As in all cases involving children, a judge will look to what is in the best interests of the child. In deciding whether the proposed adoption meets this standard, the court may look at a number of different factors, including:
- The emotional and physical needs of the child
- The prospective parents’ parenting abilities
- The stability of the home
- The child’s desires, if appropriate
Dallas Adoption Rules and Requirements
While this list not is not exhaustive and there could be exceptions to many of the these rules, the following provides a general list of what is required to adopt a child under Texas law:
- Either the biological parents’ parental rights have been terminated or they have signed Affidavits of Voluntary Relinquishment.
- If one of the adoptive parents is married, their spouse must join them in the petition to adopt.
- The child must reside in Texas.
- The child must have resided with the adoptive parents for no less than six months, although the court can waive this requirement if the waiver is in the child’s best interests.
- An adoption evaluation must be completed and it cannot be waived by consent of the parties or even by consent of the court.
- Unless your situation falls under one of the many exceptions – a Dallas family attorney can tell you if your situation falls under and exception — a Health, Social, Educational & Genetic History Report must be made prior to adoption.
- Being a member of the military, armed forces or National Guard cannot reflect negatively on your application.
Contact a Dallas Family Attorney
A Dallas family attorney can help you determine the best course of action for the adoption and complete all the paperwork on your behalf. Some adoptions are very simple and others might have issues that require advocacy. In either case, having an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate to guide you through the process is recommended.
If you have questions about adoption or are ready to start the process of bringing a child into your family, contact attorney Michael P. Granata either online or by calling 214-977-9050 to schedule an appointment.