Adoptions in Rockwall, Texas

Rockwall Adoption Lawyer

Are you looking to help a child find a loving, permanent home? This can be done through adoption. Through the adoption process, the adoptive parents legally obtain the same legal rights over the child as they would have if they were the birth parents, and the child obtains the right to inherit from the adoptive parents just as if they were biological children.

Families can choose to adopt through the Department of Family and Protective Services' (DFPS's) Child Protective Services (CPS) division or through a licensed child-placing agency. Those looking to adopt through CPS need to be prepared to complete a series of steps, according to the DFPS. They must complete training and undergo in-depth home screenings while the department checks the backgrounds of household members age 14 and older for criminal activity, abuse and neglect—all factors that can determine approval. The child must live in the new home for six months before the adoption can be finalized, according the department. Foster care and kinship care—or care provided by relatives—can serve as pathways to adoption. The DFPS also partners with various private adoption agencies throughout the state to help children find permanent homes.

According to Texas law, it is illegal for any person who is not the birth parent, adoptive parent, legal guardian or a child-placing agency to place a child for adoption or serve as an intermediary between both sets of parents. It is not against the law, however, for a professional to provide legal services to the birth parents or adoptive parents who identify the other party in the adoption and complete a placement of a child on their own, without the assistance of the professional.

There are also other factors involved in the process that will need to be considered. Those looking to adopt or put a child up for adoption will need to consider whether they want the process to be open, semi-open or closed. In an open adoption, the birth parents or other birth family members are allowed to have contact with the child and the adoptive family, whereas no contact is allowed in a closed adoption, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the U.S. Children's Bureau. In semi-open adoptions, the birth parents can communicate with the child and pass on items such as letters and photos only through a third party, such as lawyer or caseworker. The type of adoption that is selected could also impact how involved the birth parents are in selecting or meeting the adoptive parents.

Another decision that will need to be considered is whether the adoptive parents want to seek certain financial assistance, which can help cover adoption fees and health care costs for the child if they qualify. They might also want to take advantage of counseling and therapy services that could be available to them.

Why hire a Rockwall adoption attorney?

The decision to adopt is an important one that dramatically impacts multiple lives. Families should work with an experienced professional who fully understands all the steps and requirements involved.

Rockwall attorney Shannon M. Estrada is an experienced family law attorney who provides services in an array of areas. Those include adoption, divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence, mediation, property division, spousal support and visitation. Individuals dealing with legal matters in any of these areas should not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Estrada & Estrada. She understands the dynamics of family law and can work with her clients to address their individual needs.

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