Stepparent Adoption Lawyer Dallas
As a Stepparent, Adopting Your Step-Child – Thing You Should Know – Dallas
If your considering stepparent adoption, in Dallas, then take time to consider a few things and then let Nancy Ridgway Law Firm assist you in the process. Why?
There is no more of a unique situation or circumstance than adopting a stepchild, yet one that can be positive in many ways. It is possible to obtain parental rights, as a stepparent, whether a parent is deceased, absent, or facing a divorce situation. Stepparent adoption is a good way to bring a new family closer together.
A stepparent adoption, In Texas, requires certain procedures to be followed. These procedures are so critical that the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney, who is familiar with stepparent adoption, should be consulted and hired for the adopting family.
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What Is Stepparent Adoption in Dallas and What Does It Entail?
Specifically, stepparent adoption is when the spouse of a parent petitions the court to obtain legal parental rights of their spouse’s child/children through the process of adoption. The overall process is similar to regular adoption except for it is only permissible under certain circumstances.
Therefore, to legally adopt a stepchild, one of the following specific circumstances must apply: absent parent, deceased parent, unknown parent, or indifferent parent who is not involved in the child’s life. Furthermore, the child must be in the custody of the parent to whom the petitioning stepparent is now married. If applicable to your case and these conditions are met, then it is possible to petition for a stepparent adoption.
The Stepchild Adoption Process in Dallas and the State of Texas
When a stepparent makes the selfless decision to adopt a stepchild and the state conditions have been met, then the following process is required. Nancy Ridgway can assist in following each step so that the adoption can be completed as required and as smoothly as possible.
Petition Filing – Stepparent adoption begins with filing a petition to adopt with the local family court.
Termination of Parental Rights – After filing the official adoption request, the adoption attorney can move on to the next step. The next step, if the absent parent is known or alive, involves obtaining a termination of parental rights. Through a formal request, the other parent is requested to sign an agreement to terminate their parental rights allowing for the stepparent adoption to proceed. The intervention of a judge in this step is only required if the parent refuses. The judge will determine if it is in the best interest of the children involved in the parental rights of the other parent to be terminated.
Social Study – If the above action is determined to be in the best interest of the children, the petition can progress further. It involves a social study of the prospective family that includes visiting the home; evaluation of employment and financial records; observations, and an initial screening with the parents and children. All information obtained is used to help judge the situation and determine the fitness of a stepparent to adopt stepchildren.
Amicus Attorney – Once the social study is complete, an Amicus Attorney is appointed. The role of the Amicus Attorney is to serve as a non-biased lawyer appointed by the court who will repeat some of the previous evaluations, especially interviews and observations, to determine if the specific situation is best for the individual child or children and the family. The opinion of the Amicus Attorney, along with the results of the social study, is presented to the court with a recommendation of whether or not to allow the adoption to be finalized.
Although the court carefully and thoroughly reviews stepchild adoption petitions, often it is a favorable situation when a stepparent is so devoted to the child or children of their spouse that they wish to become their legal parent. As arduous as these steps appear, a devoted stepparent adoption attorney, such as Nancy Ridgway, can help a petitioning stepparent prepare for these procedures. The process can be time-consuming and costly, the result of a complete family unit is well worth the effort!
Dallas Stepparent Adoption
If you are considering adopting your stepchild, contact the Nancy Ridgway Law Firm and have one of the best attorneys in Dallas help you. You, your stepchild, and your new family will be happy you did.