San Antonio Adoption Attorneys
Helping South Texans build their families through adoption
The path to adoption can be long, complex and confusing. Many would-be adoptive parents are concerned about potential legal problems before or after the adoption. At Grable Grimshaw PLLC, we help you through the process and are ready to address your questions and concerns. We want to help ease your stress and anxiety and let you prepare for the joyful new addition to your family.
With dependable legal advice, you can understand your rights, obligations and opportunities to move your family forward in a positive direction. When our San Antonio family law attorneys represent you, we do all we can to streamline legal processes. We do the heavy lifting while you focus on preparing for your soon-to-be child and family life. Talk to us today about how we can help.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"I highly recommend Brandon Grable and team of attorneys. We were very pleased with his handling of a lawsuit against us and his ability to produce a favorable outcome for us. He listened and treated us like family. I couldn't be happier with his approach and his resolution to this case. Many thanks Brandon!" – LeRoy Schleicher
What does an adoption lawyer do?
Your family law attorney helps with a variety of issues relating to adoption. They can do everything from help choose the right method of adoption for you and your family, as well as guide you through the necessary legal paperwork to complete the process successfully. Adoption attorneys can make court appearances both with you and on your behalf, as well as ensure everyone’s rights are protected throughout the adoption process.
What are the different types of adoption in Texas?
Every adoptive family has a unique story. You and/or your spouse may be looking for or may have found a child to adopt through:
- Private adoption. These types of adoptions happen between the adoptive family and the birth parent. Typically set up through an attorney or agency, the relationship can be open or closed. In an open adoption, the parents and birth parents can maintain contact; where in a closed adoption they choose to remain anonymous.
- CPS adoption. Child Protective Services adoptions involve children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Their parents may have had their rights terminated. CPS may place children with prospective parents in foster care as a first step toward adoption.
- International adoption. More complex than domestic adoption, as the name implies, these involve adopting children from another country. Agencies abroad have different processes and may require trips overseas, as well as acquiring different visas for you and your prospective child. Our attorneys can help move this process along.
- Stepparent and relative adoption. A stepparent may choose to adopt their spouse’s child. Or, grandparent’s may choose to adopt their grandchild. In both cases, the biological parent’s (or parents’) rights must be terminated. Talk to our attorneys about your specific circumstances for knowledgeable guidance.
With one of our family law attorneys assisting you, the team at Grable Grimshaw can help you progress toward your family’s goal of a successful and happy adoption.
What are the requirements for adoption in Texas?
The state of Texas has certain requirements for adopting a child, which are as follows. An adult may adopt a child in Texas if:
(1) the parent-child relationship as to each living parent of the child has been terminated or a suit for termination is joined with the suit for adoption;
(2) the parent whose rights have not been terminated is presently the spouse of the petitioner and the proceeding is for a stepparent adoption;
(3) 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
(4) 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 and 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.
Further, any adult over age 21 may adopt, regardless of marital status, gender, or sexual orientation. If you are married, however, both you and your spouse must adopt the child together. Prospective parents must also undergo a home study with a social worker, which includes things like criminal background checks, interviews, references, financial information, and visits to your home.
What will disqualify you from adopting a child in Texas?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discusses grounds of disqualification if a background check reveals any of the following:
- “The applicant has ever been convicted of felony child abuse or neglect; spousal abuse; a crime against children (including child pornography); or a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide but not including other types of physical assault or battery.
- The applicant has been convicted of a felony for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the past 5 years.”
Additionally, in Texas an application faces disqualification if:
- He or she or any household member has ever been convicted of any crime that raises concerns that the person poses a risk to the safety and well-being of a child.
- He or she has a child abuse registry record of substantiated or founded child abuse or neglect.
- He or she or any person living in the home is listed on a sex offender registry.
The attorneys at Grable Grimshaw can explain more.
What is a home study?
A home study is a series of visits and meetings with a social worker from the adoption agency. Their job is to gather information about the child’s prospective family, home life, and prepare you for the upcoming addition to your family. Although the process differs depending on the agency, you can generally expect the following:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage license or divorce decree (if applicable)
- Medical history
- Criminal background check
- Child abuse clearance
- Employment history
- Personal character references
- Home visits
How long will my San Antonio adoption take?
The length of your adoption process depends on a number of factors, so there is no set timeframe for how long your specific case might take. Factors that can affect an adoption include the type you choose, your flexibility, and each party’s personal circumstances. Private domestic adoptions can take about a year, and international adoptions could be longer. Foster care adoption timelines may be shorter, sometimes between six and 12 months.
Our adoption lawyers can discuss your case in more specific detail.
Can I adopt a child from another state?
Yes, you can adopt a child from outside of Texas. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 was passed for this very reason; to help shorten the period between foster care and adoption. The ASFA establishes certain timeframes and reduces the legal hurdles for out-of-state adoptions.
How do I start the adoption process?
The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange has everything you need to know to get started. Then, consult with a family law attorney at Grable Grimshaw for personalized assistance.
Does your San Antonio adoption law firm also advise birth parents?
Yes, we do. While this page has been geared toward adoptive parents, our firm also welcomes inquiries from birth parents. You can trust our attorneys and staff to treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. We will help you understand every aspect of closed and open adoptions, so you can make the decision that is best for you and your future.
Discuss your adoption plans with a San Antonio lawyer
Adoption is an especially rewarding area of our family law practice. The attorneys at Grable Grimshaw PLLC are ready to guide you through a stepparent adoption, a grandparent adoption, a private adoption, the adoption of a foster child or an international adoption. Call 210-963-5297 or fill out our contact form today to set up a consultation in our San Antonio offices. We also serve clients throughout South Texas.