San Antonio Step-Child Adoption Attorneys
The compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. represent families in San Antonio and across the central Texas area who are considering the adoption of a step-child. When you work with us, you’ll get the assistance you need to ensure that the process goes smoothly and is done right.
Being a parent is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding jobs. As a stepparent, you fulfill the same parental duties and harbor the same love for your stepchild as if they were your own. However, you do not have the security or rights to call the step-child your own legally. Your relationship is entirely at the discretion of the child’s legal parent. And if worse comes to worst and the legal parent were to die, there is no guarantee you would get custody of the child. These and other reasons are why we urge you to consider adopting your step-child.
If you choose to expand your role in your step-child’s life, an attorney will be a great resource. The San Antonio step-child adoption lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. have extensive knowledge in all the details of the adoption process. Our compassionate attorneys will answer any questions you might have about this life-changing decision. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we will put your interests first. Contact us today at (210) 349-9933 to get the qualified help you need. You may also complete our online form, or chat with us live on our website.
Why You Need a Step-Child Adoption Attorney
Adopting a step-child is an immensely rewarding life decision. But trying to understand the laws that surround step-child adoption is complicated. It can be challenging to balance your emotions as well as try to figure out the specifics of the law. You may have several questions such as: how do I begin the process of adopting my step-child? What are the benefits to adoption? What options do I have? With an experienced lawyer such as those at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., all these questions can be answered.
Having an experienced and skilled lawyer by your side will only help you during the adoption process. A family law lawyer can review forms, help prepare for adoption hearings, and give any advice you may need. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we have the resources, compassion, and knowledge you need during this emotional period.
Why Choose Us?
Once you have adopted your step-child, you will have all the legal protections parental relationships carry. You need a firm who you can trust to fight to receive these rights. You need a law firm who understands how important this decision is to you and your future. You need Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.. Our firm sees you as more than just a client. We tailor our strategies based on your situation. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., one of our main priorities is to help make this process easier for you.
The lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. have built a reputation for superior results in San Antonio. It’s our dedication to hard work, attention to detail, and commitment to our clients’ best interests that separate us from other law firms. Furthermore, our partners are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Time and time again, our clients return for all their family law concerns. Contact us today at (210) 349-9933, so we can help you with your step-child adoption.
How Difficult is it to Adopt My Step-Child?
Compared to other types of child adoption, step-child adoption can be relatively simple. Most child adoptions require home visits, have long waiting periods, and need adoption hearings. With step-child adoptions, all the parties are familiar with each other. Because of this, the court may not require as many hoops for you to jump through. Despite this, step-child adoption can still be a rather strenuous process, especially regarding acquiring consent and navigating the “Best Interests” standard. Hiring a lawyer can help make the entire process easier for you.
Do I Need Consent?
In step-child adoption, consent from the birth parents is usually always required. However, in situations such as abandonment, failure to pay child support, or other circumstances that would lead to the birth parent’s parental rights being terminated, consent is not required.
The most challenging part of step-child adoptions is getting consent from the birth parent. When a birth parent gives you consent, they are also giving up all of their parental rights to the child. This is because, in Texas, a child may only have one set of legal guardians. If the parent and child have no relationship, getting consent will be easy. Giving up parental rights also means giving up parental duties, including child support. However, if the birth parent has a good relationship with the child, getting consent will be difficult. With the help of an attorney, this complicated process can be much easier and will allow you to worry less.
Also, you may need consent from the child. According to the Texas Family Code, if a child is over 12 years old, then the child must consent to the adoption in writing.
What is a Social Study?
In Texas, a social study must be prepared for step-parent adoption. A social study is a process where someone evaluates the conditions and circumstances of the environment and character to gain more information on the parent wanting to adopt. In a social study, the evaluator will look into your relationship status, your educational background, how you live, your criminal history, and more. A social study looks at all parties involved in the adoption, not just the step-parent attempting to adopt the child. The Texas Family Code requires the evaluator to conduct interviews, look into the home environment, observations, and most importantly, the child’s relationship with the stepparent.
What is the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard?
A judge will use the “Best Interests” standard for determining the outcome of your stepchild’s adoption. A child’s “Best Interests” often encompass the child’s emotional and physical needs such as how you will fare as a parent and a caregiver, the child’s future, and other factors that pertain to the child’s life and stability.
Step-child adoption is an important, personal decision. The attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. have the compassion, resources, and knowledge necessary to guide you step by step. Contact us today at (210) 349-9933 to begin this life-changing process. Becoming your step-child’s legal parent grants you the guarantee to a continuing parental relationship. Moreover, it grants you the opportunity to change your step-child’s life for the better. Let the adoption lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. assist you through this journey.