All people are equal before the law. However, a good attorney makes a significant difference.

Working With Texas Stepparents To Complete Their Families

A stepparent adoption is when a stepparent moves to adopt their spouse’s child who has been living with the adoptive parent for at least six months. At Sralla Family Law PLLC, we have helped stepparents in Bexar County and the surrounding region since 2006. If you want to adopt your stepchild formally, you can rely on our San Antonio adoption lawyers to facilitate every step.

How Do I Adopt My Stepchild?

The process of adopting your stepchild starts with the filing of a petition for stepparent adoption and a concurrent request for the termination of the birth parents’ parental rights. Termination can be based on a number of factors, the most common of which are:

  • A birth parent’s abandonment of the child for a lengthy period of time while expressing an intent not to return
  • A birth parent’s failure to support the child financially for a substantial period of time
  • The execution by a birth parent of an Affidavit for Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights

Once the termination process is complete, the court will order the preparation of a pre-adoptive home screening and post-placement report into the circumstances, living conditions, overall home environment and fitness of the adoptive parent to take responsibility for their stepchild. Texas law also requires, in addition to a completed home study, a genetic history and criminal background report on the prospective parent.

While in other types of adoptions, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to safeguard the interests of the child or children involved, the court typically will not do so in a stepparent adoption because the biological parent is the managing conservator of the child or children and is usually deemed able to sufficiently represent the interests of their child or children.

After all the proper documents are approved and on file with the court and assuming no party has issued a legal challenge to the adoption, the court will hear the testimony of the adoptive stepparent, their spouse and any other necessary party to the adoption and presumably grant the adoption.

When The Child’s Other Biological Parent Isn’t There

Often, the biological parent whose rights are subject to termination is unknown or cannot be located. In such a case, the court will typically appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interests of the missing party in the case. When this process is invoked, the attorney ad litem will exercise due diligence to locate the missing party for the purposes of providing them with an opportunity to object to or challenge the termination of his/her parental rights. If the attorney ad litem is unable to locate the missing party, they will report such findings, or lack thereof, to the court at the final hearing.

The Experience That It Takes For Successful Adoptions

Our stepparent adoption lawyers know the ins and outs of all forms of adoption in Texas. No matter what challenges lie ahead, we are confident that we can navigate them with the skills it takes to formalize your adoption. Time and time again, we have shown ourselves to be efficient and knowledgeable in Texas adoption law. Even a small misstep in the adoption process can draw the time out longer or cost you substantially monetarily. That is why we use our considerable prowess to make it as streamlined as possible for you.

Talk To A Stepparent Adoption Lawyer For Free

Are you ready to adopt? Sralla Family Law PLLC is ready to help you. For a completely free consultation, please call us at 210-600-9565 or send us an email to schedule a consultation with a San Antonio adoption attorney.