About Arthur Augustine
I practice primarily in the area of family law divorce, child custody, child support, enforcements, contempt, modifications, paternity suits, visitation, adoptions, grandparent’s rights, name changes, protective orders and spousal support or alimony. Arthur Augustine My Google Profile
San Antonio Adoption Attorney | San Antonio Adoption Lawyer (210)338-8225
Everyday, the law office of Art Augustine witnesses the advantages and blessings associated with adoption. For many years, i’ve brought joy and love into the lives of thousands of children and the parents who adopt them. We believe adoption is a “win-win-win” situation for everyone involved: children are given a chance at life, while couples unable to have children on their own are blessed with the son or daughter they’ve always wanted, and birth moms find peace in knowing they have provided a loving and secure home for their precious babies. In working with prospective birth mothers over the years, the same concerns, issues, and worries often arise.
If you would like to schedule a free, confidential consultation to learn more about our practice, contact the Law Office of Arthur G. Augustine today. Speaking with Art places you under no legal or financial obligation. Call today to learn more.
Agency Placement Adoptions
Agency placements occur when the child is in the custody of a local department of social services or licensed child-placing agency. In this situation, all parental rights are terminated, custody with authority to place for adoption is granted to the agency, and the agency consents to the child's adoption.
A non-agency placement occurs when the child is not in the custody of an agency. In a non-agency placement, the birth parents or legal guardian(s) consent to the adoption, and parental rights are terminated by entry of the final order of adoption.
Except for licensed or duly authorized, only birth parents and legal guardians are allowed to place a child for adoption in Texas. Although anyone may provide assistance to birth parents in locating a prospective adoptive family and to adoptive parents in locating a child, only birth parents and legal guardians may actually place the child for adoption.
There are three different types of non-agency adoptions.
Stepparent adoptions: A stepparent adoption takes place when the spouse of a birth or adoptive parent is adopting the child. In this situation, consent has been obtained or is not required. An investigation will only take place if the court determines it is necessary before the adoption is finalized. If the court does consider an investigation necessary, the agency becomes involved when the adoption petition is filed and the circuit court enters the order of reference.
Parental Placement Adoptions: These are governed by Code of Texas. In a parental placement, the approved child placing agency completes a home study report and a petition is filed in the juvenile and domestic relations court for execution of consent and awarding of custody to the prospective adoptive parents. The juvenile and domestic relations court reviews the home study report and collateral material to determine whether the requirements of law have been met, accepts parental consent, and transfers custody to the adoptive parents. An adoption petition may then be filed in circuit court.
The overall steps in a parental placement adoption are as follows:
While it isn’t always the best solution, for many, stepchild adoption can offer many wonderful benefits to a child including permanency, sharing the family name, and reinforcing the sense of belonging and identity.
In most cases, stepchild adoption is much like any other type of adoption. The stepparent files a petition, documents are submitted to the court indicating that the absent parent has consented to the adoption, or that consent is not required for various reasons, or that parental rights have been terminated, and the court process proceeds.
It sounds simple, and in many cases it is, but there is information every stepparent needs to know, including that the law varies from state to state, and in the case where the relationship between the biological parent and the absent parent is strained, obtaining consent or getting parental rights terminated can be complex and time-consuming. It's important to know the law and legal requirements, and to be aware of issues such as grandparent visitation.
Each state has different guidelines regarding the termination of rights by the non-custodial parent, and contact between the child and her birth parent and grandparents.
Go to your county courthouse (or its website if one exists) to get information about the forms and representation you need for a stepchild adoption. Family court or juvenile court is usually the place you will need to visit for this information. In some states, you and your spouse may be able to handle the process yourself, while in other jurisdictions, it may be necessary to hire a lawyer.
Hire an attorney who specializes in family law. Even if your state does not require legal representation for a stepchild adoption, you may want to consider working with a professional anyway. A lawyer well-versed in adoption law will not only advise you about the rules surrounding the adoption of a spouse's child, but can take care of much of the paperwork for you.
Get the consent of your child's non-custodial parent in order for your spouse to adopt the child. If you are employing a lawyer, he will get signed consent for you. Submit this form as well as all other applications to your local court system.
Attend a court hearing that will discuss the adoption that is in process and will set a date for the finalizing of your child's adoption by her step-parent. Attendance at the adoption hearing is mandatory in most cases, as the judge may ask all parents questions about the adoption.
Make sure to get certified copies of the adoption papers once the adoption is final. Keep a copy of the adoption decree in a safe place in case you ever need to produce it.
Apply for an amended birth certificate for your child. Forms are often available at your local courthouse or your state's department of vital records. The amended birth certificate will list the adoptive parent in place of the birth parent. If you are choosing to change your child's name at this time, you can do so on the amended birth certificate.
•(i) the agency receives a request for a home study;
•(ii) a home study is completed;
•(iii) a report of the home study is submitted to the juvenile and domestic relations district court;
•(iv) adoptive parents file a petition for execution of consent in juvenile and domestic relations district court;
•(v) court accepts consent and awards custody to the prospective adoptive parents;
•(vi) a petition for adoption is filed in the Circuit Court;
•(vii) the circuit court enters an interlocutory order of adoption if everything has been done in compliance with law; and
•(viii) after a six-month supervisory period, the circuit court enters a final order of adoption.
If you are facing divorce, dissolution, or any other family law issue, don’t delay, call the Law Office of Arthur G. Augustine today to discuss your family law matter. Our office is located in San Antonio, TX and serves the entire State of Texas, call now at (210) 338-8225 or schedule a free consultation.
San Antonio Adoption Attorney
San Antonio, TX 78209
Mon-Fri 8am - 6:30pm
Mon-Fri 8am - 6:30pm
Price Range: Free Consultation
Appointment Available: Yes