Don’t Go At It Alone: The Top Benefits of Hiring an Adoption Lawyer
Should you hire an adoption lawyer? Why or why not? Read on to learn the top benefits of hiring an adoption lawyer.
The adoption process has its own shares of ups and downs. While the joy of finalizing an adoption can be incredible, the journey there can be long and filled with many challenges.
Once you’ve made the decision to adopt, you’ll likely have many questions about the legal side of the adoption process. The process involves many steps and can be complicated for new parties to follow.
Securing the help of an adoption lawyer can be a huge help in navigating an adoption. An adoption lawyer can help couples in even more ways than you might initially imagine. Read on, and we’ll walk you through the many benefits of hiring someone to help guide your way.
Understand The Law
Adoption, for the most part, is governed by state law. It is essential to understand the law before starting the adoption process or even getting to know a potential child.
In a private adoption, potential parents play an active role in selecting a mother or child by contacting potential birth mothers. This is usually via advertisement or listing, found online, or in the press. Often, private adoptions are used for step-parent adoptions, but children may be adopted from elsewhere, even overseas. Private adoptions may or may not involve an adoption agency but will require legal assistance.
Child welfare adoptions or foster parent adoptions require licensing by an adoption agency or child welfare agency, such as Texas CPS. These adoptions may not require a lawyer hired by the adoptive parents, because the agency will handle the paperwork. However, when the child welfare agency is opposed to the adoption, then an experienced adoption attorney should be consulted.
Texas adoption laws state that any adult may legally adopt, except for certain felons, individuals who are too disabled to care for the child, and a few other narrow exceptions. There is no minimum age limit for the child but only adults may adopt, though different adoption agencies may set their own qualifications.
A married individual must adopt with their legal spouse. This remains true if someone is separated but still legally married, or if one hopes to adopt their partner’s child through a stepparent adoption.
All prospective parents are put through a home study to ensure that they are adequate guardians. This home study process can be quite rigorous and involves multiple interviews, home visits, and background checks.
The laws in Texas are generally fairly open to most situations involving adoption. There are no strict limits against same-sex couples or single parents petitioning for adoption, for example. But prospective parents will need to pass the more rigorous expectations of individual adoption agencies and the courts.
This is where the help of an adoption lawyer can be very helpful.
How An Adoption Lawyer Can Help
Navigating the different local adoption agencies and programs can be very difficult. An adoption lawyer has years of experience working with these agencies and can help guide you through the process.
An adoption lawyer is well versed in information pertaining to the specific kind of adoption you hope to achieve. Whether that be a private adoption or step-parent adoption, they’ll be able to set you up for success.
An adoption attorney can help save you time during the process as well. They are able to look over your adoption application and point out potential issues or problem areas. They are able to help predict the odds of success as it pertains to your application.
This can save you months of waiting time and help you feel more confident when you submit to an adoption agency.
As you might expect, there’s a good deal of complicated logistics involved with adopting a child. There’s a huge amount of paperwork that can be very difficult to get through if you don’t understand the legal language.
Errors and omissions in this paperwork can also easily cause your application to be denied, tarnishing months of work and waiting. Having a lawyer to make sure everything submitted properly can give your family of peace of mind.
Your adoption lawyer will also represent you in court if any problems arise during the adoption process. It’s best to have someone there to advocate for you if a situation gets sticky.
Though issues involving step parents are rare in adoption cases, they do happen, and it’s best to have legal help on your side.
In some cases, you must pursue the termination of a birth parent’s rights over a child in order to complete the adoption process. This can be a difficult process in more ways than one, and it’s best to have a trained professional handling the brunt of the work.
Work Through Various Adoption Scenarios
There are different types of adoption that families can work through. These include adoptive parents, adoption of adults, adoption with family members, and general adoption.
Each type of adoption may have different requirements. Depending on the type of adoption, there will be many steps that must take place before the rights of the parents are created or transferred.
For example, in a stepparent adoption case, a new parent would need to get both the approval of their spouse as well as the other birth parent. If a birth parent refuses to terminate their parental rights, a lawyer could petition the court to step in if there are grounds for forced termination.
A lawyer can also help families apply for many state benefits. The state of Texas firmly believes that the well being of these children is of the utmost importance. As such, some adoptive families may be able to access subsidized legal fees, free college tuition, medical benefits, among other benefits.
An adoption attorney can help families stay informed of such benefits and help them apply for and get these benefits.
Hiring An Adoption Lawyer
If you’re planning to adopt a child, one of the best things you can do for your future is to hire a professional adoption lawyer. As detailed above, the benefits of having an attorney on your side not only makes it vital but it can also make that dream of being a parent come true.