Becoming a parent can be one of the most rewarding things in life. Children can enrich your life and make every day that much more happy and complete.
However, some couples may be having fertility issues, and they aren’t able to have biological children on their own. Or, perhaps, they’d rather not have biological children for a myriad of reasons, but they still want to become parents. Maybe a child is in need and a relative wants to become their parent to ensure they have a better quality of life.
All of these situations would require a legal adoption in Texas. The process takes some time and money – as well as a mental, emotional and maybe even a physical toll – so it’s important that parents-to-be have an experienced adoption attorney in Houston, TX at their side to guide them through it.
First, let’s take a look at adoptions in general, how adoption in Texas works, and what steps you need to take to get the process started.
Adoption is when a person legally becomes a parent to a child. There are many kinds of adoptions; for instance, a birth mother may feel she is too young to raise her child, so she seeks out a couple willing to adopt her child. A person may get remarried and want to adopt their new spouse’s children. A child may go into the care of the state and if that child’s parents’ rights are terminated, then that child may become available for adoption.
Both couples and single parents who are heterosexual or in a same-sex relationship can adopt a child. They can adopt a child domestically, such as in the state of Texas or another one of the states, or they can seek to do an international adoption. There are different ways to go about adoption, and you have to decide which is the best one for you and your partner.
In the United States, 135,000 children are adopted annually. Many more – 428,000 – are in the foster care system.
When figuring out what type of adoption is best for you and your partner, you have three primary options (in addition to step-parent adoption): domestic, foster care and international.
Domestic adoption: When it comes to domestic adoption, you can adopt a child from their birth parents. Private adoption agencies in Texas, or around the U.S., can help you go about this. You’ll need to find birth parents who are willing to let you adopt their child. A domestic adoption can cost $20,000 to $40,000 depending on the circumstances. For instance, you may need to spend money to travel to another state and pay for medical and housing costs for the pregnant mother. Aside from the expense, another roadblock is that the parents can choose to parent their child following the birth, which means the adoption won’t take place. This can be heart wrenching and emotionally taxing on the prospective adoptive parents.
Foster care adoption: If you are willing to adopt a child who’s parents’ rights have been terminated by the state, you can reach out to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and see if you’re able to become a foster parent for a child in need. You may have to pay for some of the foster care services, however, adopting a child through foster care is pretty much free.Additionally, a child adopted through the State of Texas gets free in-state college tuition.
International adoption: If you are OK with adopting a child from a different country, then an international adoption may be the best choice for you. You will need to be very careful when completing an international adoption because there are scams and associated risks. For instance, you don’t necessarily know where the child is coming from or their medical history, or family background so you’re taking a chance. Reaching out to a renowned international adoption agency will be your best course of action. The costs for an international adoption range from $20,000-$50,000, factoring in the adoption costs themselves plus the time and money you’ll spend traveling back and forth.
You can arrange for a private domestic or international adoption, but again, you should work with a reputable agency so that you aren’t subject to fraud. This is already an emotional and challenging process, and you don’t want to become a victim of a scam on top of it.
If you’re looking to adopt in Texas, there are some guidelines. You need to be at least 21 years old, have financial stability and be able to provide a good home for the child. You’ll have to undergo a home study and let the staff do a complete criminal background check on you and any other adults in the home. They’re going to evaluate any children in the home to make sure they are safe and not victims of abuse.
You will be required to complete an application to adopt, hand over your background, financial, and lifestyle information, offer references, show proof of marriage and/or divorce and be considered mature and responsible.
If you live in Texas but you’re adopting a child out-of-state, the criminal background check will still need to be performed in Texas itself. If you are adopting out-of-state, you’ll be required to follow the protocol set by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Some of the rules include staying in the child’s state until the ICPC has gone The ICPC can take anywhere from seven to 30 days to complete.
Adoption can be a complicated and draining process. Aside from having to locate a child, look into their family’s history and possibly meet their birth parents, it’s expensive and time-consuming. All around, it can take up much of your precious time and energy, which you may not have much of already because trying to have a child was an emotional process as well. If you’re a potential stepparent, you could be dealing with ex-spouse drama and the child’s mental wellbeing, too. And, if you’re a relative, you may have to make tough decisions for the child.
However, you are determined to start a family and provide a child with a loving environment. Plus, it’s important to you to adopt since there are so many children in need. You’re ready and willing to provide a safe and warm home for them, which they may have never experienced, sadly.
If you want to adopt, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of filing legal paperwork, finding a trustworthy adoption agency and dealing with the emotional aspects all on your own, you can find an adoption attorney in Texas to help.
When you want to take the first step, reach out to the trusted Houston, TX adoption attorneys at Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC for help. They have years of experience navigating adoption with their clients, and they can ensure your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible. All you have to do is contact us today to schedule your consultation.
At Boudreaux, Hunter & Associates, LLC, our Houston adoption lawyers are thrilled to be a part of helping families grow, and we do all we can to make this experience a positive and memorable journey. Our practice is founded on close client communication, compassionate service, and experienced legal guidance, and we know it makes the difference when representing clients wishing to adopt.
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