Adoption Attorney in San Antonio
Helping Clients Complete the Complex Adoption Legal Process in Texas
If you are currently thinking about adopting a child or becoming a legal guardian of a child, there are many factors to consider. Whether you have already begun the process or are simply curious about your options, speaking with our experienced San Antonio adoption lawyers is in your best interest. At Calfas Law Group, PLLC, we can work with you to determine what the right course of action is for you and your family.
Welcoming a New Child to Your Family
Deciding to add to your family by way of adoption can be an exciting decision, especially while you consider the avenues available to you. Having strong legal representation and counsel on your side can make an incredible difference in the process, which can be extremely complex and unforgiving. Our job is to help you get through the paperwork, ensure you understand the law, present all your options, and help navigate any issues that may arise.
Our adoption attorney in San Antonio represents all types of cases, including:
- International adoption
- Stepparent adoptions
- Agency adoptions
Open Vs. Closed Adoptions in Texas
At one point in Texas, almost all adoptions were closed, which meant that the identities of an adopted child’s birth parents were hidden, sealed, and anonymous. The only time a person could access these files is once they turned eighteen. Once they were a legal adult, the person would have the option of volunteering to sign up for the Texas Vital Statistics Unit's Voluntary Central Adoption. Under this group, the adult who was adopted could try to find their birth parents, siblings, or any other member of the biological family, provided they were also registered.
Nowadays, far more adoptions are open, meaning that the biological mother of a child has the option to maintain contact with her child through several different methods of varying involvement. In some cases, adoptive parents can continue a relationship with the biological mother, though this can sometimes raise concerns that the birth mother’s relationship with the child could later affect the child’s relationship with the adoptive family.
Requirements for Adoption in Texas
If you are seeking the opportunity to adopt a child in Texas, it is important to make sure you fulfill all the requirements because every state has its own distinct list of guidelines.
Texas’ requirements dictate that all potential adoptive parents must be:
- In the process of completing an adoption application
- Over the age of 21
- Financially stable and able to care for themselves and the child
- Mature and responsible in character
- In possession of a healthy lifestyle
- Able to provide reliable, trustworthy references
- Able to offer proof of marriage, or a divorce, if necessary
- In possession of a completed, approved home study
- Willing to give both child abuse checks and criminal background checks on all adults who are living in the household
Cost of Adoption in Texas
The cost of adoption will vary depending on the type you choose and many other factors, but be prepared to set aside a good amount of money. You will have to pay for expenses such as:
Counseling services for the Birth Mother
Medical bills for the Birth Mother and child
Other necessary and reasonable living expenses of the Birth Mother
Different Types of Adoption
With so many adoption types, it isn’t easy to know where to start. It’s important to ask questions and do research to help you make thoughtful decisions. For a basic understanding of each type of adoption, take a look at some of the most common options.
There are public and private agencies that place children with prospective adoptive parents. Public adoption agencies generally handle children who are wards of the state, often because they’ve been abandoned, orphaned, or abused.
Private adoption agencies are often run by charities and social service organizations. They typically place children brought to the agency by parents or expectant parents seeking to give their child up for adoption.
This is one of the most complicated of all the types of adoption. Since you are dealing with a foreign country citizen, you must follow both your state’s laws and the host country’s. There’s also the matter of obtaining an immigrant visa for the child.
Some adoptions bypass agencies altogether. These are known as independent adoptions, which involve a direct arrangement between the birth mother and adoptive parents. It’s wise to hire an attorney to handle the paperwork to ensure nothing is missed.
Blended families are common across households in the United States. Sometimes, parents will adopt their stepchildren, and it’s a beautiful way to create bonds among families. It still requires a fair amount of legal work, attorneys, and the biological parent’s consent.
San Antonio Guardianship Attorneys
When a loved one is no longer able to take care of their child or themselves, it may be necessary to step in and file for legal guardianship. Guardianships are enacted to provide help for persons who are incapacitated or minors who do not have proper care.
A guardian is required to attend to the financial, medical, and personal affairs of a person to ensure their welfare is intact. Guardianship can only be named by the court and as such, it is important to work with guardianship attorneys who can help you prepare your case.