Stepparent Adoption

Stepparent Adoption

Officially adding a stepson or daughter to the family is one of the most common types of adoption in Texas. Although it is a beautiful time in the life of a family, the process can be somewhat complicated under Texas law. There are several steps in the adoption process, from the placement in the adoptive family’s home to the final adoption hearing. The process typically lasts between three and six months.

It’s important to understand the specific steps in adopting your spouse’s child. Contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. to speak to one of our Texas family law attorneys. At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , we’ve worked with families in Texas for over a decade, including men and women involved in the adoption process. We have a reputable background navigating the Texas criminal and family courts.

Texas Stepparent Lawyer in Brownsville

At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. our legal team has handled numerous stepparent adoption amongst other types of adoptions. We are well-versed in Texas family law and provide families the skilled counsel they need to resolve any familial matter. Adoption can involve a lot of complex paperwork and any mistake could jeopardize your pending adoption. It is best to seek the help of an experienced stepparent adoption lawyer in Texas.

Contact us today 956-504-2211 to set up your initial adoption consultation and find out more about the legal requirements involved. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. practices throughout the Brownsville area and surrounding cities in Texas including Houston, San Benito and Harlingen. We also serve individuals in Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Willacy County.

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Information Center

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What Is Stepparent Adoption?

Stepparent adoption occurs when the spouse of a biological parent petitions the courts in order to obtain legal parental rights over their stepchild. The stepparent adoption process is very similar to the standard adoption process. A major difference between the two, nevertheless, is that stepparent adoption is only granted under certain circumstances.

A stepparent can only adopt their stepchild if one of the following is true:

  • The adoptee is an adult. In this case, it is not necessary in this case to get permission from the absent biological parent
  • There is only one living biological parent
  • The absent biological parent is in agreement with the stepparent and is willing to sign the appropriate documentation
  • Only one biological parent is active in the child’s life, whether the absent biological parent is away by choice or his/her whereabouts are unknown. In some cases, the identity of the absent biological parent is unknown.

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Benefits of Stepparent Adoption in Texas

Stepparents play an important role in the lives of their spouse’s children. They help to provide basic needs such as food, shelter, and love to the child. Stepparents, in other words, can assume all the typical responsibilities of a parent, but without the legal recognition. Adoption can provide a stepparent that legal recognition. These benefits include:

  • Legal recognition: When you adopt a stepchild, you become the child’s legal guardian and share all parental rights and responsibilities with your spouse.
  • Financial benefits: A child who is adopted by his or her stepparents may also receive financial benefits from the stepparent, such as inheritance and insurance.
  • Family bond: As stated previously, many stepparents adopt purely for emotional purposes. When someone becomes a primary caregiver for a child, they establish a stronger emotional bond because of the sense of security they now provide to the family.

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The Stepparent Adoption Process in Texas

Filing for adoption as a stepparent is a two-step process. First, parental rights of the noncustodial parent must be terminated, if they are living. Following the completion of this step, adoption can occur. Under Texas Family Code Section 162.001, a child residing in the state of Texas may be adopted if:

  • The parent whose rights have not been terminated is presently the spouse of the petitioner and the proceeding is for a stepparent adoption;
  • The child is at least two years old, the parent-child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent, the person seeking the adoption has been a managing conservator or has had actual care, possession, and control of the child for a period of six months preceding the adoption or is the child’s former stepparent, and the nonterminated parent consents to the adoption; or
  • The child is at least two years old, the parent-child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent, and the person seeking the adoption is the child’s former stepparent who has been a managing conservator or has had actual care, possession, and control of the child for a period of one year preceding the adoption.

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Additional Resources

Adoption Choice of Texas –  Visit the Adoption Choice of Texas webpage to view several resources on adoption. The organization is licensed by the State of Texas to provide professional, full-service adoption assistance statewide. Their mission is to provide the highest level of service, compassion, and support throughout the adoption process.

National Council for Adoption – The National Council For Adoption is the leading expert on adoption issues. They hold over 40 years of adoption expertise. Visit the webpage to view resources and learn how every child can thrive in a nurturing family.

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Texas Stepparent Adoption Attorney in Brownsville

It is vital to have a dedicated adoption lawyer on your side to maximize your chances of getting the result you want. If you wish to adopt, contact our attorney stepparent adoption attorney Jonathan Gracia at 956-504-2211. We are eager to help you embark on this new chapter of your life.

At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , our adoption attorneys will guide clients through every step of adoption. We represent families in Brownsville, Texas and surrounding cities including Houston, San Benito and Harlingen. Our law firm also practices in Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Willacy County.

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