Adoption is the legal process of welcoming a child or adult into your family. It carries with it all of the responsibilities, rights, and duties of having a child naturally, and likewise is a cause for celebration for all families who adopt. For many years I have helped clients adopt children bringing hope, joy, and love to the children being adopted and to the families adopting them.
There are basically two forms of adoption, which are:
- Agency placed adoptions; and
- Non-agency placed adoptions.
Agency placed adoptions occur when a child is in the custody of either a governmental agency (i.e. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services) or a licensed child-placement agency. The particular agency has legal custody of the child after the natural parent’s rights have been terminated and then the agency agrees to the placement of the child in your care and to the eventual adoption by you.
Non-agency placed adoptions occur when no governmental or private agency is involved and the parents or legal guardian agrees to place the child in your care and to the eventual adoption by you. In this case the parental rights of the natural parents would be terminated by agreement and then the prospective parents would proceed with the agreed adoption. Quite often, non-agency adoptions involve adoptions between family members. This form of adoption also includes adoptions by step-parents. Step-parent adoptions are a very common occurrence, particularly when one of the natural parents is not active in life of the child. In this instance the non-active natural parent’s rights would have to be terminated first, either by agreement or through court order, and then the step-parent would be free to seek adoption of their step-child.
For either form of adoption I would highly recommend that you use the services of an experienced and skilled family law attorney to advise and represent you through the process. Whether you are seeking an adoption through agency placement or non-agency placement I have the experience and skill you need and deserve for your representation.