Are you adopting a child or baby in Texas? The Houston adoption lawyers of Gregory Law PLLC are committed to helping parents navigate this often-complicated process. Through adoption, new families are created and children are given a loving, nurturing new home, and it is our goal to guide you through to a successful conclusion.
For more than four decades, our team has helped families in Houston with all aspects of the adoption process. Our experienced team will help you handle the necessary paperwork, will ensure compliance with the Hague rules, and will ensure that all legal rules are precisely followed. Because even simple mistakes can slow down or derail the adoption process, let one of our knowledgeable adoption lawyers help make sure that all of the necessary documentation is in order for you.
Schedule a confidential consultation with a compassionate member of our team by calling us at (713) 861-1293 or by filling out a contact form online. Let us handle the paperwork, while you focus on preparing to bring your new family member into your household for good.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle My Adoption?
Adoption is a complex legal process with many nuances and intricacies. A lawyer can ensure that the child you are adopting is completely yours and cannot be taken away because something was missed in the adoption process.
When birth parents are unwilling to give up their parental rights even when they are unable to provide care for their children, or if they abandoned, neglected, or abused them, an attorney can help you overcome those obstacles with the court so you can proceed with the adoption.
Even in simpler adoption cases, there are many requirements that must be fulfilled before you can take your child home. A lawyer can make sure that you successfully meet those requirements.
Why Choose Gregory Law PLLC?
The team at Gregory Law PLLC has more than 40 years of experience helping people in Houston adopt children into their homes. We understand that this is a commitment from the heart and until the process is complete, there is anxiety, joy, and fear all mixed together. Because of that, we are the compassionate and knowledgeable team you need to make sure your adoption is done correctly and that the children you are adopting can know that they are safe and secure in your love and care.
We believe in bringing our experience to you and to the court in a straightforward and thorough manner that ensures that your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.
Cases We Handle
Adoptions are complicated and can involve many different aspects. There are several areas in adoption where legal representation is needed, including:
Termination of Parental Rights
For a child to be legally adopted, at least one birth parent has to give up parental rights to the child. When a birth parent gives up parental rights for a child, the parent-child relationship ends. The birth parent’s name is removed from the child’s birth certificate, and the child is eligible for adoption. The birth parent cannot have any contact with the minor child.
In many cases, a birth parent will voluntarily give up their parental rights, and the court will issue an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights that will be filed with the court.
There are also instances of involuntary termination of parental rights. In these cases, there is either potential or actual harm to the child involved, including abandonment, neglect, unfit parent(s), and abuse. Involuntary termination of parental rights can also occur when a parent is incapacitated, incarcerated, or severely disabled.
The last instance when parental rights are terminated is usually a simple but necessary formality when both parents have died and another family member petitions the court for parental rights and adoption.
Step-parents can often have an active parenting role in their stepchildren’s daily lives, and parent-child bonds can build and strengthen, leading the step-parents to the decision to adopt their step-children.
Step-parents who want to adopt the minor children of the person they married have a lengthy personal and legal process to go through if the non-custodial parent is still alive. Both the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent must agree to the adoption. Then the non-custodial parent’s rights must be terminated by the court.
If the non-custodial parent refuses to agree to the adoption, the adoption will not go forward unless the non-custodial parent is consistently violating the terms of the divorce decree in terms of child support, child custody, and rights and duties, or is deemed unfit by the court. In this case, the court may involuntarily terminate the non-custodial parent’s rights, opening the way for a step-parent adoption.
The death of a spouse or a non-custodial parent and a subsequent remarriage makes the step-parent adoption easier. A death certificate for the deceased spouse or non-custodial parent is needed to clear the way for the adoption process to begin.
Sometimes, grandparents find themselves in the position of raising their grandchildren. However, without the benefit of legal guardianship, the grandparent faces many obstacles in providing routine care for the child. This can include making health care decisions for the child, adding the child to health insurance, and registering the child for school.
If children have been permanently placed in the grandparents’ home by either the child’s parents or by Child Protective Services, then adoption is the best option for the grandparents. It can be done simply, as long as the biological parents voluntarily agree to terminate their parental rights. Otherwise, involuntary termination can take place, if applicable.
If both biological parents are deceased, then death certificates will need to be provided and the grandparents will need to petition the court for adoption of their grandchildren.
Let the Houston adoption lawyers at Gregory Law PLLC help you through the adoption process. Whether you are a couple who want to adopt children, a step-parent who wants to adopt your step-children, or grandparents who want to adopt your grandchildren, we can take care of everything that is needed to make this a reality for you. We cannot stress enough that it is critical to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side to make sure that you do not encounter any unexpected delays or roadblocks. We’re here to help you make your dream and the dreams of your adopted child come true, so contact us for help today.
We provide legal services to families in the greater Houston area and the rest of Texas, and we are ready to help you. Gregory Law PLLC is bilingual. All of our services are offered in both Spanish and English. Contact us at (713) 861-1293 or fill out a contact form to schedule an appointment with our experienced and compassionate adoption attorneys today.