When someone adopts a child, that individual or couple becomes the child’s legal parent(s). A legal adoption gives the adoptive family the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent. There are several steps in the adoption process, from the placement of a child in the adoptive family’s home, to the appointment of a home study provider, to the final adoption hearing. Our firm is not typically involved with the adoptive family until the child has been placed with the family. At that point, we will draft and file a Petition for Adoption and request that a home study provider be appointed to conduct and complete the home study report to the Court. The last legal step in the process is assisting our client(s) in obtaining a new birth certificate for their child after the Court has signed the Order of Adoption.
Before an adoption can take place, the rights of the biological parents must be terminated. Our team is experienced in handling both termination of parental rights and adoptions, and may be hired at either step in the process. In some cases, we will file both a Petition for Termination and a Petition for Adoption in conjunction with each other. Like the adoption process, there are several steps in a termination suit as well. Depending on the county, the Court may require that a Guardian ad Litem be appointed to represent the best interest of the child and investigate the reasons for the termination/adoption. If a biological parent has agreed to execute an Affidavit of Relinquishment, the termination process may be uncontested. If a biological parent has been absent from a child’s life for many years and cannot be located, the Court would require the appointment of an Attorney ad Litem for the missing parent.
The circumstances surrounding adoption and termination vary greatly depending on the family. Our office believes that every adoption case is unique and we provide customized services to meet the individual family’s needs. Some families want to adopt a biological family member (such as a grandchild, niece or nephew); while other families may adopt from overseas, or from the Texas Department of Protective and Family Services (more commonly known as CPS or Child Protective Services). Whatever your particular situation, our firm has the experience and the knowledge-base to expedite this process.
Among the different types of adoptions we handle are:
- International Adoptions
- Interstate Adoptions
- Step-Parent Adoption
- Adoption by a Single or Unmarried Person
In addition to representing our own clients in their adoption cases, Amanda is an active proponent of adoption in the community, having served on the Austin Bar Committee for Austin Adoption Day for the past five years. Amanda and her ex-husband, Dave, have adopted a child, and have a large network of friends who have either been adopted, or have adopted children of their own. Our firm has a commitment to forming new, loving families through the adoption process.