Adoption and termination of parental rights

Dallas-Fort Worth Paternity Rights Attorneys

Welcoming a new family member is an exciting event for families. However, the process can be overwhelming and confusing. The experienced attorneys at K&M are here to help you and your family members with the legal adoption of children and adults. Our team of Dallas family law attorneys understands the importance of preparing you and guiding you through the adoption process to ensure that it is completed without delay or inconvenience.

What is an adoption?

An adoption is a legal arrangement in which parental rights are transferred from the natural or birth parent to the adoptive parents. Once the adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents become legally responsible for the adopted child as if he or she were their biological child.

The adoption process in Texas consists of the following steps:

  • pre-adoption home study;
  • termination of parental rights; and
  • final adoption

The pre-adoption home study consists of a report prepared by a licensed social worker. The comprehensive report is designed to help the court decide that an adoption is in the best interest of the child. The pre-adoption home study is a detailed process consisting of interviews, letters of reference from friends and family, verification of financial status and criminal history, among others.

In order to proceed with an adoption, the birth father’s legal rights must be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily. A voluntary termination involves the birth father voluntarily relinquishing his parental rights through an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights. In other circumstances, parental rights may be voluntarily terminated for various reasons, including: (i) by child protective services; (ii) abandonment of the child; (iii) child endangerment; (iv) leaving the child for more than six (6) months or more; (v) voluntarily leaving the child in the care of someone else; or (vi) failure to support the child for at least one (1) year terminating within six months of the adoption.

Finally, once the finalization and pre-adoptive home study has been completed, the case will be presented to the judge for a hearing to verify and approve the adoption. Please contact one of our Dallas Fort Worth adoption attorneys and we encourage you to contact the family law experts at K&M for a free initial consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  to speak with you and recommend the best way to proceed with your adoption.