Adoption and the Termination of Parental Rights
Adoptions are a significant and frequently ignored part of family law. A large number of children are either in homes with stepparents who wish to adopt them and are unclear as to how to go about doing so, or they are in foster homes with caring foster parents who would like to make their relationship more permanent. Adoption gives neglected, mistreated, and battered children the opportunity to become a part of devoted, loving families. Regardless of whether the bonds are formed through the use of the foster care system or through private or open adoptions, having the benefit of a skilled Houston family law attorney is a crucial part of the somewhat complicated and confusing process.
There are quite a few steps that must be taken prior to adoption, including the completion of a home visit and review by Social Services, the termination of the birth parents’ rights, a look into issues concerning medical history, and the filing of all important court documents.
So, just how do you go about terminating a parent’s parental rights? Texas law states explicit conditions under which a birth parent’s rights may be terminated. For instance, a proceeding may be initiated to have a child under the age of 18 declared free from the guardianship and control of either or both parents. More specifically, this can take place if the child has been left without the benefit of abandoning parent’s support or any communication, and he or she has done so with the intent to abandon the child. Symbolic attempts to support or communicate with the child or children are not enough to keep a court from deeming the child or children abandoned. Moreover, Texas courts have found that the Code should be liberally interpreted to best protect the health, welfare, and safety of a child.
If you would like to learn more about the adoption process, regardless of whether you are interested in a child from the juvenile dependency system, a related minor child, a stepchild, or any other child who has been neglected by a parent, the attorneys at Slate & Associates may be able to help you. Please call (713) 352-1434 to schedule a consultation today.