Adoption

McKinney, Texas: Experienced Adoptions Lawyer

Helping clients with stepparent or grandparent adoptions is one of the rewards of working as a family law attorney. So much of family law involves conflict. While all family law work is rewarding, adoption is one of the few areas within family law in which the work is positive. At the Law Offices of Michael Sloan, we welcome the opportunity to help families with stepparent and grandparent adoptions.

Common situations when relatives wish to adopt

Stepparent and grandparent adoptions usually take place when one or both of the biological parents are "out of the picture," so to speak. Perhaps the child's parent has never acknowledged him or her, or has failed to provide support for several years. Or, the child's biological parent may be deceased or incarcerated.

These are common situations in which a stepparent, grandparent or other relative may wish to formally adopt a child. Without going through the formal process of adoption, a relative who cares for a child may lack important legal rights and authority. For example, only a person with legal custody has the right to make health care decisions.

Adoptions by non-parents proceed in two stages

Under Texas law, a child may only have two legal parents. If a person who is not the biological parent wishes to adopt a child and both biological parents are living, the legal parental rights of at least one of the biological parents must be terminated. A parent can relinquish his or her parental rights voluntarily or it can be ordered by a court.

In cases where a biological parent does not wish to give up his or her parental rights, the relative who wishes to adopt must demonstrate in family court that legal grounds exist for termination.

The second stage of the process is the adoption itself. Even when it is a stepparent or relative who is adopting the child, the process can be complex and require substantial paperwork. The relative will have to undergo a background check, be fingerprinted, and attend an adoption hearing. In addition an attorney ad litem will be appointed to look out for the best interests of the child. After the adoption is approved, there are additional details to handle. Government records — including Social Security cards and birth certificates — must be changed to reflect the change in parents.

Questions about adoption?

Contact the Law Offices of Michael Sloan, located in McKinney and serving clients in and around Collin County. We offer reasonable fees in all family law cases.

Handicapped accessible. Located directly east of Highway 75 near the historical district. Weekend appointments available.

Texas lawyer Michael Sloan represents clients in McKinney, Plano, Frisco, and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in communities such as Allen, Richardson, Prosper, Wylie, Murphy, Sachse, Sherman, Denison, Bonham, Anna, Van Alstyne, Greenville, and Celina, and in Dallas County, Grayson County, Hunt County, Fannin County, Collin County and Denton County.