Adoption Lawyer | Pearland, TX

Adoption is a deeply personal and emotional journey. It’s a joyful and rewarding moment in a parent’s life. However, before you start the adoption process, it is crucial to be aware of any legal hurdles that may come up. Although these challenges can be daunting, they are essential measures in the adoption process to guarantee that you can effectively grow your family. Fortunately, our experienced adoption lawyers in Pearland, TX, can help.

At Hannah Law, PC, we provide personalized legal guidance for your adoption journey. We have been bringing families together for decades! Our experienced adoption lawyer team is here to support you every step of the way. Ready to start your adoption journey? Contact us today at 281-262-1311 to schedule a consultation.

How to Adopt a Child in Texas

Adoption lawyer helps a family finalize their adoption

The decision to adopt a child is a significant and life-changing choice, requiring a thorough understanding of the adoption process — the do’s, and the don’ts. It is essential to be aware of the necessary steps involved in adopting a child in Texas. Some of the crucial steps involved when adopting a child in Texas include the following:

1. Research and Education

To begin the adoption process in Texas, it is essential to research the various avenues available, such as domestic adoption, international adoption, and foster care options. You should seek out adoption agencies, legal experts, and community resources that can offer guidance and support throughout the adoption journey. Conducting thorough research will help establish a well-informed and empowered adoption journey.

2. Meet Requirements

You should confirm that you meet the criteria set by Texas for prospective adoptive parents. These criteria cover several aspects, including age, residency, and background checks. Ensuring you meet these requirements at the outset can help you avoid potential complications and make the adoption process smoother. The key is to set yourself up for success and feel confident and prepared as you embark on this adoption journey.

3. Choose an Adoption Method

You can choose from various available options to bring a new family member into your life. These options include going through an agency, navigating the process independently, or considering the foster care system. Each path has its own unique procedures and requirements that you should thoroughly weigh and consider. The decision-making process should focus on finding the best approach that aligns with your values, lifestyle, and hopes for your future family.

4. Complete Pre-Adoption Training

As a prospective adoptive parent in Texas, you need to complete pre-adoption training in order to better prepare for the responsibilities associated with adoption and parenthood. The training covers various topics such as child development, attachment, and methods of understanding the needs of adopted children. If unsure about what training to take, consult with a local adoption lawyer.

5. Submit Your Application

After completing the pre-adoption training sessions and the necessary paperwork, you can submit your adoption application to the appropriate agency or court. During this process, you will need to share your personal information and undergo interviews. Additionally, as part of the process, you will submit to background checks to ensure that you have the ability and readiness to provide a safe and loving home to the child.

6. Home Study

As part of the adoption process, as prospective adoptive parents, you must undergo a home study conducted by a licensed social worker. The purpose of the home study is to assess your suitability and to ensure that your home provides a safe and nurturing environment for a child.

7. Match with a Child

Upon the successful completion of the home study, you will be considered eligible to match with a child available for adoption. The process may involve waiting for a match through an agency, attending adoption events, or pursuing private adoption opportunities.

8. Finalize the Adoption

After completing all the paperwork and fulfilling the requirements, the last step of the adoption process is finalizing the adoption. At this stage, the judge will carefully review all the documentation and approve, which will officially make the child yours. This moment is significant and memorable for most parents, as it is the culmination of their journey towards adoption.

Do I have to Be Wealthy to Adopt?

Adoption Lawyer in Pearland, TX speaking with an adoptive family

Adopting a child does not require meeting any specific financial criteria. However, adoption professionals may consider your financial resources during the adoption process. The cost of adoption may vary depending on the case. Furthermore, ongoing expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing should also be taken into account.

While being wealthy is not a requirement for adopting a child, you should be able to afford the costs associated with parenting. Having a job is not a prerequisite for adoption, and financial grounds are not usually a reason for disqualification. As long as you can provide for your family’s financial needs, you are eligible to adopt a child.

How Much is Adoption in Texas?

Adoption is a way to expand a family, but it can be expensive. In Texas, understanding the costs involved is crucial to plan finances for the journey ahead. Financial preparedness is necessary to ensure a smooth adoption process.

Public or State Adoption

In order to adopt a child under the care of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS), you must first become a foster family. It involves passing a home study which includes an inspection of your home, interviews with everyone who lives in your household, and an evaluation of your home environment. You will be required to cover the cost of this study and make any necessary repairs to your home before you can qualify as a foster family.

Criminal background checks will be conducted on you and anyone who is over 14 years of age and lives in your home. The cost of these checks will also be your responsibility.

You will incur legal fees during the adoption process, as you will need to hire an attorney to assist with the legal proceedings and the finalization of the adoption in court. Our attorneys at Hannah Law, PC, have experience in adoption law and can be of assistance throughout the process.

Private Adoption Through an Agency

In Texas, private adoptions tend to be more expensive than public ones. The primary reason for this difference in cost is that private adoptions require the assistance of a private agency, which typically charges fees for their services. These fees usually include an initial application fee and other related charges.

If adopting a baby, you will also need to cover the birth mother’s medical expenses, such as prenatal care and hospital costs. Additionally, adoptive parents might also pay for counseling for the biological parents before and after the child is born.

Travel expenses can also increase the overall cost of adoption, particularly if adoptive parents need to visit the birth mother or the child before completing the adoption process. Like public adoptions, you will need to bear the cost of a home study, background checks, and legal fees.

Step-Parent Adoption

If a step-parent wishes to adopt their step-child, they must follow a process that involves a criminal background check and a home study, which can be costly. The adoption process can only start if the step-parent has lived with the child for a minimum of six months.

However, a child can only have two legal parents at a time; therefore, if the step-parent wants to adopt, one of the child’s biological parents will need to relinquish their parental rights. This can be accomplished voluntarily if the parent agrees to sign a form giving up their rights, or via a legal process if voluntary termination of parental rights is not possible. The process can be lengthy and complex and may require a trial before the adoption is finalized.

Financial Assistance Available When Adopting in Texas

In the state of Texas, there are various resources available that offer support and assistance with the costs related to adoption. Families who are adopting children with special needs can receive support through the Adoption Assistance Program. The program provides assistance to help families provide the necessary care and services their children need.

On the other hand, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit can offer tax credits of up to $14,300 per child for qualified adoption expenses. The tax credit can be a great help for families who are considering adoption and can significantly reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.

How Long Does it Take to Finalize an Adoption in Texas?

The adoption process in Texas can be influenced by various factors such as the child’s age, legal complexities, and the type of adoption. It can usually take approximately six months to a year or longer to finalize an adoption. However, Hannah Law, PC’s team of experienced adoption lawyers can offer assistance and guidance to expedite the process and ensure it is as smooth as possible.

An experienced adoption lawyer can help you ensure your affairs are in order and that the process is efficient.

What Will Disqualify You From Adoption in Texas

When considering adoption in Texas, it’s essential to be aware of certain factors that may disqualify you from becoming an adoptive parent. These may include:

  • Criminal history involving offenses such as child abuse or neglect
  • History of substance abuse
  • Financial instability
  • Lack of adequate housing or living conditions
  • Unstable or unsafe home environment

Contact Skilled Adoption Lawyers With Experience That Makes a Difference

Jeffrey Hannah & Liz Hannah | Hannah Law, PC

Hannah Law, PC, is your trusted partner for adoption and other family law matters in Pearland, TX. Our experienced adoption lawyers are here to provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the complexities of the adoption process with confidence. From understanding Texas adoption laws to securing financial assistance, we are committed to helping you build the family you’ve always dreamed of.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward welcoming a new addition to your family. Call us at 281-262-1311 to get started.

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