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Frisco Adoption Lawyer

Family Law

“Your Law Firm stood with us for over 6 years during the trying times and happy times, and a partner of the Firm went to court with us and this sweet baby girl became our adopted daughter.”

- Kenneth and Vivian Pruitt

Building Families with Stepparent and Related Family Adoption

Embarking on the adoption journey is a profound step towards expanding your family, filled with both anticipation and complexities. As your experienced Frisco family lawyer, we are committed to navigating the multifaceted legal landscape of adoption with you, ensuring that every legal detail is meticulously addressed.

Our approach combines a deep understanding of Texas adoption laws with a compassionate sensitivity to the emotional nuances of this life-changing process. We are here to support and guide you through each step, from understanding your options to finalizing the joyful addition to your family, making your dream of parenthood a legally secured reality. Call (214) 423-5100 to schedule your consultation.

A Frisco adoption lawyer with Albin Oldner is here to help you with such a sensitive and stressful situation.

Our adoption services in Frisco

At Albin Oldner Law, our Frisco adoption attorneys assist soon-to-be parents as they move through the adoption process to claim their child. We’re proud to offer the following adoption services for hopeful families in Frisco:

This is not a full list of services. Please contact Albin Oldner Law to learn how we can help you.

Post-adoption assistance

Our support extends beyond the adoption finalization. We assist with estate planning, modifying birth certificates, and ensuring all legal documentation reflects your new family structure.

Services we do not handle

Our law firm does not arrange adoptions or match adoptive parents with birth moms, gestational surrogates, or children available to adopt. That is the task of a licensed adoption agency. If you are working with an adoption agency or surrogacy clinic, we can assist you with finalizing the adoption paperwork.

Birth parents’ rights and responsibilities in the adoption process

In Texas, the adoption process is governed by a set of laws designed to protect the interests of all parties involved, especially the child. Birth parents, or biological parents, have specific rights and responsibilities that are crucial to the adoption process. Understanding these rights and responsibilities is vital for anyone considering placing a child for adoption in Texas.

Our skilled Frisco adoption lawyer can clarify any birth parent rights during the adoption process.

Rights of birth parents

1. Right to Voluntarily Relinquish Parental Rights

Birth parents have the right to relinquish, through a court petition, all their parental rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents. In Texas, consent to adoption is irrevocable once signed, except under rare circumstances where fraud or coercion can be proven.

2. Right to Revoke Consent

In certain situations, Texas law allows birth parents to revoke their consent to adoption within a specific timeframe before the adoption is finalized. However, this is subject to strict legal procedures and time limits.

3. Right to Legal Representation

An attorney can represent the birth parents throughout the adoption process. This ensures that their legal rights are protected and that they fully understand the implications of their consent to the adoption.

4. Right to Disclose Identity

A child always has the right to know who their parent’s names are. Texas requires birth parents to fill out biographical information so that the adoptive parents and child know about their genetic history.

That being said, under a “closed” adoption, the parties agree to no contact with the child while they are under 18. In an “open” adoption, the birth parents can learn about the growth of the child under certain parameters.

Responsibilities of birth parents

1. Responsibility to Provide Medical History

Birth parents are responsible for providing a comprehensive medical history to the adoptive parents. This includes genetic conditions, any drug exposure during pregnancy, and other health-related information that might affect the child’s well-being.

Responsibility to Follow Legal Procedures

Birth parents must follow the legal procedures established by Texas law for the adoption process. This includes adhering to the waiting period before consent can be given, attending court hearings if necessary, and complying with any legal requirements for revocation of consent.

Responsibility to Cooperate in the Social Study

In many adoptions, a social study is conducted to assess the suitability of the adoptive family and the child’s best interests. Birth parents may be asked to participate in this study to provide information about the child’s background and needs.

Responsibility to Support the Child Until Adoption

Until the adoption is finalized, birth parents are legally responsible for supporting the child. If the child is in the care of the state or an agency, birth parents may be required to contribute to the cost of care.

Understanding the rights and responsibilities of birth parents in the adoption process is crucial for ensuring that the process is conducted fairly, ethically, and in the best interests of the child. For birth parents considering adoption, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney or reputable adoption agency can provide valuable guidance and support throughout this complex legal and emotional journey.

How does adoption impact child support and inheritance?

Adoption fundamentally alters the legal relationships between the child, the biological parents, and the adoptive parents. It shifts the financial support obligations to the adoptive parents and redefines the child’s rights to inheritance, emphasizing the importance of thorough legal counsel to protect the interests of all parties involved.

Impact on child support

Termination of biological parents' obligations

With the finalization of an adoption, the biological parent’s legal obligations to financially support the child are terminated. This means that any existing child support orders are typically nullified. The rationale behind this is that the adoptive parents assume full financial and legal responsibility for the child, just as if the child were biologically theirs.

Please note, Texas courts can order a parent to continue child support even if rights are terminated.

Adoptive parents' responsibility

From the moment the adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents are responsible for all aspects of the child’s welfare and upbringing, including financial support. This responsibility continues until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years in Texas, with certain exceptions extending support beyond this age) or is otherwise emancipated.

Special considerations

In some cases, such as when a stepparent adopts their spouse’s child, the non-custodial biological parent’s child support obligations may be terminated as part of the adoption process. However, if the adoption is arranged through an agency or involves a surrogate, the financial arrangements and support obligations prior to the adoption process may involve specific legal agreements.

Please note, Texas courts can order a parent to continue child support even if rights are terminated.

Impact on inheritance

Legal heir status

Upon adoption, the child gains the legal status of being an heir to the adoptive parents, just as a biological child would. This means the child has the right to inherit from the adoptive parents according to state intestacy laws (which apply when someone dies without a will) or under the terms of the adoptive parents’ wills or estate plans.

Biological parents' estates

Conversely, the child’s legal right to inherit from the biological parents’ estates is typically severed by the adoption. The child is no longer considered an heir of the birth parents for intestate succession. However, biological parents can still choose to include an adopted-out child in their wills or estate planning if they wish.

Estate planning importance:

Adoptive parents are encouraged to update their estate plans upon adopting a child to include them as beneficiaries explicitly. This ensures that the child is adequately provided for and that the parents’ intentions are documented, avoiding potential disputes or oversights in the future.

Inheritance from other relatives

Adoption also affects the child’s inheritance rights from other relatives, such as grandparents. Under Texas law, an adopted child is considered a descendant of the adoptive parents for inheritance purposes, which may exclude them from inheriting from the biological relatives through intestate succession. However, like biological parents, relatives can include the child in their estate plans.

What are the steps in the Texas adoption process?

There are only a few steps to the adoption process:

  1. The first step is to file a Texas Adoption of a Stepchild petition with the court or an Adoption petition.
  2. The next step is for one or both of the birth parent(s) to relinquish parental rights voluntarily or for the court to terminate those rights if one or both parents are not competent or cannot be located.
  3. The next step is a Social Study. An evaluator gathers information about the child and family.
  4. Visit a family court where a judge reviews all information and decides whether to finalize the adoption.
Our Frisco adoption lawyers in Texas can walk you through the entire adoption process.

Relinquishing parental rights.

Our Frisco adoption lawyers will contact birth parents to secure the signed paperwork that must be filed with the court. This can be an emotionally challenging step for a parent, who may feel conflicted, even if they have not been involved in the child’s life. It may be as simple as sending a document and a letter or require a sympathetic conversation. Sometimes, the awareness that the parent is absolved of future child support payments can motivate a signature.

Securing a Social Study and Recommendations.

The next step is a Social Study. An evaluator will gather information about the child and family, how they get along, the child’s development, the home environment, the financial capacity of the parent and step-parent, and more. Our attorneys can collect evidentiary support on behalf of adopting parents. The parents seeking the adoption pay for the social study.

Texas courts want to ensure adoption is in the child’s long-term best interest. The court will appoint an Amicus Attorney. He or she will review the Social Study and interview the parents again before making a recommendation to the court.

Visit to family court.

The last step is a visit to the family court, where a judge will review all the information and recommendations and decide to finalize an adoption.

Meet with an adoption attorney serving clients in Frisco

Schedule a meeting with one of our Frisco adoption attorneys at Albin Oldner Law. We’ll explain the process of adoption and stand by you each step of the way.

Call Albin Oldner Law, PLLC at (214) 423-5100 to schedule a consultation at our office or contact us online

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