Adoption of a child is an amazing gift as well as a great financial and emotional responsibility. The adoption law lawyers at The Ashmore Law Firm understand the desire to be a parent and know that the legal process of adoption can be unnecessarily complicated and frustrating. Our lawyers have the knowledge, experience and expertise to guide you through the process and will work diligently to make the adoption process go as smoothly as possible.
With decades of experience in adoption law, our adoption lawyers are prepared to handle all types of adoptions, including:
- Relative or kinship adoption o Adoption of your spouse's child, i.e., stepparent-stepchild
- Adoption of a grandchild, niece, or nephew, typically in cases where the child's parent has died or become unable to care for the child
- Adoption of an unrelated child through an adoption agency or foster care
Generally, the adoption process involves terminating parental rights of the existing parents and an evaluation of the adopting parents.
The termination of parental rights is most often done by having a biological parent execute an Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights. If the existing parents will not voluntarily relinquish their rights, a contested final trial is necessary to prove one or more of the grounds for termination and that termination is in the best interest of the child. Grounds for termination when a parent will not voluntarily relinquish their rights can include:
- abandoning the child
- failing to provide financial support, or
- placing the child in danger.
During the evaluation of the adopting parents, a social worker will visit the prospective adoptive family’s home, get to know them and make sure they will be suitable parents for the adopted child. In some circumstances an Amicus attorney is also appointed to represent the best interest of the child and to report to the judge.
At the end of the process, the adoption is finalized in a courtroom with a short ‘prove up’ hearing. This finalization is oftentimes a celebration for the family, with pictures taken with the judge and the new family standing at the bench. Judges have been known to let children hit their gavel and have toy boxes filled with stuffed animals for children to choose from. Oftentimes other lawyers and litigants in the courtroom will joyously clap when the judge announces the adoption. It is a day that most families will never forget.
Are You Considering Adoption Or Need To Speak With An Experienced Adoption Attorney In The Dallas Area?
If you are considering adoption or need to speak to an experienced adoption attorney please contact us online or call our Dallas office directly at 214.559.7202 to schedule your no obligation, confidential evaluation. We help clients throughout the Dallas area with all of their legal adoption needs and look forward to helping you.