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Texas Adoption

Texas Adoption

A Quick Guide to Texas Adoption

Texas Adoption Laws

All Texas adoptions regard procedures and laws under Chapter 162 of the Texas Family Code.  This Chapter addresses adoption, and several laws are discussed throughout this article.  You can also find information about the adoption process in this article as well.  If you need legal advice and assistance, contact Texas lawyers.

Texas Adoption Requirements and Eligibility Factors

In the state of Texas, adoptions can occur as long as a person is over the age of 18 shows evidence of being able to provide for the child and meet their best interests.  

However, certain people cannot adopt in the state of Texas.  A Texas adoption cannot occur if the potential parent has a criminal record (in most cases), has shown any evidence of abuse or violence in the past, does not meet eligibility requirements according to a home study from a social worker, does not show evidence of being financially stable, or other reasons.  

The Texas Adoption Process

Fortunately, Texas adoptions usually begin with two parents (regardless of sex and race) who are good standing citizens and ready for a child.  The child must meet a number of eligibility factors under Sections 162.001, 162.501, and 162.504.  The eligibility factors of the child are paraphrased below: 

• the rights of the parents have been terminated

• a parent whose rights have not been terminated is the spouse of the petitioner and the proceeding is for stepparent Texas adoption

• the child is at least two years old; the parent-child relationship has been terminated for one parent; the person applying for adoption rights has been managing conservator or has had actual physical possession or control of the child for at least 6 months; or the person is the former stepparent and the non-terminated parent agrees to the adoption

• an adult may adopt another adult with adopted person’s consent 

After a child has been placed for adoption by the natural parent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, a license child-placing agency, or the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, Texas adoptions will go through a number of steps.  These steps for Texas adoptions are listed below: 

1. The prospective legal parent will file a petition to the court 

2. a health, social, education, and genetic history report will be formulated the person petitioning,  a child-placing agency, or any other social service

3. the person filing the petition for the Texas adoption will have to pass a criminal history report which deeply investigates any prospective parent’s past criminal history 

4. Once the petition requesting termination has been filed along with the petition requesting adoption, the court will make a decision if the action is in the best interest of the child and then allow the Texas adoption

5. If the withdrawal of or denial of the petition has occurred, the court may remove the child from the adoptive home if the removal is in the child’s best interest

Texas adoptions will require more steps if the parent(s) is requesting a foreign adoption.  Petitioners are always encouraged to contact an adoption attorney before beginning the adoption process.  


Alabama Adoption

Alabama Adoption

A brief guide to Alabama adoption
Any single person or couple who wishes to adopt a minor child in the state of Alabama must be aware of all the laws related. Alabama adoptions come in four different forms:
• Private adoptions concern a private agreement between a birth parent and an adopting parent or couple. This type of Alabama adoption is best supervised by a lawyer who is experienced in the documentation. Once a document relinquishing the custody of a child is signed, the person who signs it has 14 days to revoke it. After this time, Alabama adoptions of this type almost certainly cannot be undone.
It should be noted that parents who relinquish the right to their children must make a decision as to whether or not this minor child can learn more about them as an adult. When giving up a child for Alabama adoption, you may decide to make all information about you available on request, such as your name and address. Alternately, you may choose to only have medical history and similar, non-identifying information available.
• In agency adoptions, parents give custody of a child to an agency that works with the state to find a new home. When performing this type of Alabama adoption, an agency will generally have a lawyer on hand to supervise all aspects of the procedure.
• Public adoptions involve transferring a child who has become a ward of the state after being taken away from unfit or abusive parents. These types of Alabama adoptions are supervised by child protective services.
• Intercountry adoptions involve a child from another country. An Alabama adoption of this type requires the person performing it to comply with both American and international law.
Regardless of the type of adoption you are seeking to perform, a long "home study" process will be involved. Many measures will be taken to ensure that you are psychologically fit to go through with Alabama adoptions. This process may take anywhere from three to six months and will include extensive interviews and examinations of your home life.
There are not many expenses that you will be directly responsible for during this part of the Alabama adoptions home study examination. You may be responsible for the cost of conducting a criminal background check and providing your medical records. Otherwise, most expense will be covered by the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
In order to complete this process before you are allowed to go through with an Alabama adoption, you may be required to provide information related to:
• Your income
• Your upbringing
• Your views on parenting
• Your expectations for the Alabama adoption process
Along with the adoption of physically and mentally healthy children, there are special provisions concerning Alabama adoptions of children with disabilities. Such minor children may qualify for Medicaid coverage. However, these kinds of "special needs" children also include:
• Children over the age of eight
• African-American children age two or older
• In cases where multiple siblings are involved, groups of three or more children

The Adoption Process in 4 Easy Steps

The Adoption Process in 4 Easy Steps

1. Initial Contact with Adoption Agency or the Adoptee

The first step of the adoption process requires you to educate yourself about adoption; this crucial step of the adoption process requires you to conduct research of all the adoption options in your country or jurisdiction. To expedite this portion of the adoption process, you can hire an adoption professional, who will streamline the procedure. When you have definitively decided that you want to adopt, you should contact an adoption specialist who will answer all your questions concerning the adoption process.

Adoption specialists are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-ADOPTION to answer all questions concerning the adoption process and to elucidate upon all the options available given your situation. Before contacting an adoption agency you must learn everything there is to know about adoption. Joining an adoptive parent support group, reading adoption books, magazines, websites and attending pre-adoption information sessions (hosted by local adoption agencies) will supply you with fundamental information concerning adoption. 

2. Obtain and Subsequently Analyze the Adoption Packet

After contact has been made with the coordinating adoption agency, you will receive, either by email or regular mail, fundamental information concerning the adoption process along with some preliminary forms to initiate the adoption process. These forms will typically contain medical background information and generic biographical information; all information required on these preliminary forms will be used confidentially to break ground on the adoption process.

The completion of these forms does not commit you to the adoption process; the forms are simply telling the adoption agency that you are ready to begin exploring an adoption plan. During this phase, you will no sign any legal adoption paperwork until the baby has been born or the adoption has been affirmed. 

3. Creating an Adoption Plan

If adoption is viewed as the best option given your current situation, then you and your adoption specialist will begin constructing your adoption plan. This part of the adoption process will elucidate upon the crucial aspects of the adoption including: the selection of the adoptive family for your baby or you can ask your adoption specialist to select a family for you. During this part of the adoption process you can also choose to meet the adoptive family or talk with them via email or on the phone.

The most crucial aspect of the adoption plan is deciding on whether you want a closed or open adoption; in an open adoption a continued relationship is developed between you and the adoptive family. Additionally, in this portion of the adoption process, you can set-up or decide whether you want to receive letters and pictures of the child in question, face-to-face counseling, help with medical bills, aid with living arrangements, or talk to other birth parents and/or adoptees to learn about their personal experience regarding the adoption process.

4. Placement

Once the baby is born or the child is selected for adoption, the adoption process has reached an ending point in regards to the adoption plan. At this time, you will sign the legal adoption documents to fortify the adoption. This process; however, will vary based on statute and state law as it corresponds to the locality in which you initiated the adoption. 


Quick Easy Look into Adoption Records

Quick Easy Look into Adoption Records

Adoption records are information-based documents, which are compiled, into a thorough report to include all biographical information as it pertains to a child up for adoption and the coordinating parents who adopt. In nearly all states throughout America, adoption records are sealed and subsequently withheld from public inspection after an adoption process has been finalized. The majority of states throughout the country have instituted procedures by which coordinating parties to an adoption may obtain both identifying and non-identifying information from an adoption record while still enabling protection regarding the interests of all involved parties. 
The traditional forms of adoption records will contain two forms of information: Non-identifying information and Identifying information. Both forms of information will be regulated based on the adoption laws of the particular jurisdiction in which the adoption records were produced and subsequently delivered to the prospective adopting parties.

Non-identifying Information:
Non-identifying information is typically limited to descriptive details about an adoptee and the adopted child’s birth relatives. Generally, this type of information is provided to the adopting parties at the time the adoption was finalized or agreed upon. 
Non-identifying information will typically include the following information:
  The date and place of the adopted child’s birth
  The age of the biological parents and the general physical description, such as the child’s eye and hair color
  The race, religion, ethnicity and medical history of the biological parents
  The educational level of the biological parents and their occupations at the time the adoption took place
  Any existence of other children born to each birth parent
  The reason for placing the child up for adoption
Each state in America will introduce provisions in statute that will allow for access to non-identifying information by an adoptive parent or a guardian of an adoptee who happens to be a minor. Nearly every state will allow the adoptee to access non-identifying information about birth relatives—typically administered upon written request. In most cases, the adopting party must be at least 18 years of age before the individual may access this information.
Approximately, 28 states in the country allow birth parents to access such information, generally concerning the health and social history of the child. Furthermore, 15 states will give such access to adult birth siblings. Policies on the information collected and how that information is maintained and disclosed will vary from state to state.

Identifying Information:
Identifying information pertains to the disclosure of records or other information that may lead to the identification of biological parents, other birth relatives, or the adoptee. Identifying information will include current or past names of the individual, any employment records, addresses, or similar information. Statutes in the majority of states will permit the release of identifying information when the individual whose information is sought will consent to the release.
If consent is not fulfilled with the appropriate party, the information will not be released without a court order, which documents a ‘good cause’ to release the information. A party seeking a court order must demonstrate through the delivery of clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason for disclosure which effectively outweighs maintaining condfiendeitality of a party to an adoption.

Adopt a Child in the US. Here’s How.

Adopt a Child in the US. Here's How.

How to Adopt a Child in the United States:
To adopt US kids, you must first understand the importance of the decision; adopting a child is an extremely personal and critical decision that will invariably require forethought and preparation as to ensure that you are ready to fulfill the arduous requirements needed for bringing a child into your home. That being said, to adopt a US child, the first step is to ensure that adoption is what you really want. 
After you have decided that adoption is the correct and most desired course of action, you must educate yourself about the adoption process as it pertains to adopting US kids. In addition to using online resources, you should learn about adopting US kids, by talking to others who have adopted within the states, to better understand what the process is like.
Once you have gathered as much information as you can regarding adopt US kids, you must choose an adoption agency within your state. Choosing an adoption agency within your state will streamline the adoption process and the legal requirements attached to adopting a US child.
To adopt US kids, you must make sure that you research all your options; to do this, you must call numerous adoption agencies with your state to inquire about the fees, processes and support associated with their particular adoption procedures. Each adoption agency will vary in regards to the support they offers as well as the children they typically place and the length attached to each adoption process.

Adopting US Kids:
Once you have chosen your adoption to adopt US kids, you will be ready to schedule your home study. This process consists of you providing your caseworker with the relevant documentation; including your valid birth certificate and having the coordinating adoption agent visit your home to ensure that you, along with your family are ready to bring a child into your home.
At this stage in the adoption process, the details surrounding your adoptions should be fortified: you should know the gender and age of the child you would like to adopt. After this information has been decided upon, you should start looking through your state’s waiting child list to find the child or children whom you are interested. 
When you have found the child you want to adopt, you must contact your caseworker who will then contact the caseworker representing the child. Once the caseworker has notified you that you have been matched with the child of your choice, you will meet with the prospective child or children several times. After this process, you’ll complete the required paperwork offered by the caseworker and wait for your new son or daughter to be placed in your home.

What are Adoption Agencies

What are Adoption Agencies

What is an Adoption Agency?
An adoption agency is an office, a court, or another entity that is authorized under the laws or statutes of a particular Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or a foreign country to delivery and performs various functions aligned with adoption. All adoption agencies in the United States and throughout the world are licensed by the coordinating state or governing body to prepare an subsequently initiate the adoption process.
Adoption agencies will prepare adoptive parents for the rigors and administrative formalities aligned with the adoption procedure. Without adoption agencies the process and ability to adopt a child would be nearly impossible, as a result of the ever-changing laws concerning adoption and the inability to connect prospective adoptive parents with those children who are up for adoption. 
In addition to connecting prospective adoptive parents with the eligible pool of children up for adoption, all adoption agencies provide counseling and professional help needed by both the birth parents of the child and the adopting party. Adoption agencies are comprised of numerous adoption professionals who will not only aid the individual in fulfilling the necessary requirements associated with affirming the adoption process, but also through the application of aiding individuals as it pertains to the adoption process. Furthermore, adoption agencies perform home studies to evaluate statistics associated with adoption to better allocate resources to the varying departments within an adoption agency. 
Adoption agencies, in general, are the foundation for initiating an adoption—all forms of adoption are streamlined through the resources and expertise of an adoption agency. Adoption agencies complete and subsequently file all necessary paperwork associated with adoption as well physically placing children in homes. 

Types of Adoption Agencies:
Adoption agencies, throughout the country, will vary in regards to how they perform and initiate the adoption proceeding. All adoption agencies must adhere to the specific adoption laws which are established by their residing government’s regulations and statutory laws. A failure to comply with such laws will result in the termination of licenses or the termination of the adoption agency as a whole.
With that in mind, all adoption agencies institute the adoption process that is considered legal in the underlying country, state or jurisdiction. Although these laws fluctuate based on the particular government’s interpretation of adoption laws, all adoption agencies aim to achieve a uniform goal—match those children who need to be adopted with the best-suited and most capable prospective adopting parties.

3 Easy Steps to Becoming Foster Parents

3 Easy Steps to Becoming Foster Parents

What are Foster Parents?
Foster Parents are individuals who undergo the process of fostering a child; the fostering process is undertaken within the realm of family law, which involves the placement of a an individual – who is typically classified as a child or minor – under the supervision of an individual or individuals not classified or identified as that individual’s legal guardian or birth parent.
Typically, Foster Parents enter into participation within the foster care system with the understanding that traditional foster placement exists on a temporary basis. Prior to the assignment of Foster Parents, a variety of relative family members – such as cousins and grandparents – may be sought out with regard to the attribution of supervision overan individual.
Furthermore, due to its temporary nature, Foster Parents will be made aware that the implementation of the Fostering process will be initiated only after the prospect of familial reunification has been overruled.

A ‘How-to’ Guide for Foster Parents
The following information may serve as a guide for individuals interested in becoming Foster Parents:

Step 1: Investigation
Prior to the commitment of fostering an individual, prospective Foster Parents are encouraged to conduct a substantial amount of research with regard to the circumstances, events, and conditions implicit within the fostering process. Potential foster parents are encouraged to investigate increased financial burdens, adjusted dynamics within one’s household, as well as the legislative obligation undertaken – subsequent to fostering an individual, Foster Parents will be required to participate in meetings, inspections, and correspondence with applicable legislative agencies.

Step 2: Understanding the Difference between Adoption and Fostering
While both prospective activities involve the placement of an individual under the responsibility of another individual or individuals not classified as birth parents, there exist a wide range of differences latent within the definition of adoptive parents and that of foster parents – while adoption maintains permanence, foster care typically does not. As a result, prospective foster parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the expressed stipulation and statutes with regard to the duration implicit within fostering.

Step 3: Contacting the Applicable Institutions
Primarily, Foster Parents’ journeys will begin upon contacting the governmental department responsible for the placement, regulation, and oversight of family and human services; once this particular department is contacted, the following steps may be undertaken:
Upon contacting the applicable department, prospective foster parents will be given a list of accredited and participating foster care facilities
Applications will be required for submission; typically, these applications will include the medical records, professional references, financial records, and criminal records belonging to potential foster parents
Subsequent to the first of many required approvals, foster parents will be required to participate in a variety of interviews and meetings with government-appointed specialists; this may include an inspection of the home belonging to prospective foster parents, as well as a psychological evaluation undertaken
Subsequent to the satisfaction of these inspections and interviews, foster parents will be required to complete anywhere from 10 to 30 hours of instructional classes and information sessions; upon completion, potential foster parents will receive official certification permitting them to legally foster another individual
Upon the receipt of a foster certification, potential foster parents will be considered as eligible foster parents and commence in a discussion with the department responsible for fostering in their residential jurisdiction; this final meeting will determine the child whom will be fostered

Must Read Foster Care Explained

Must Read Foster Care Explained

What is Foster Care?
Foster Care is a process that is undertaken within the realm of family law, which involves the placement of a an individual – who is typically classified as a child or minor – under the supervision of an individual or individuals not classified or identified as that individual’s legal guardian or birth parent; in many cases, foster care implements the placement of applicable individuals on a temporary basis.

Foster Care vs. Adoption
While adoption is the legal transfer of guardianship from one entity to another, Foster Care constitutes legally-mandated supervision and conditional-responsibility allowed to an individual or entity. Due to the fact that Foster Care is typically undergone as a temporary measure, it differs from adoption not only in its presupposed timelines, but also within the notion of the attribution of guardianship:

Adoption is the legal process within the realm of family law in which approved individuals who are not recognized as the birthparents of a child are permitted to assume guardianship of a child. Subsequent to the approval and authentication of legal adoption, parents undergoing the adoption process will be able to participate in the authenticity, substantiation, and validation concerning issues under the jurisdiction of paternity.

Foster Care
In contrast to adoption, Foster Care is typically not considered to be a primary option with regard to individuals who have been displaced from their respective guardians, be it through forced removal or abandonment. The notion of Foster Care is primarily imposed on a temporary basis in order to allow the jurisdictional legislative bodies assuming responsibility for fostered individuals to ascertain a long-term plan with regard to the future of that individual – this can range from an eventual return to that individual’s birth parents or guardians to the placement of that individual as a ward of the state.

Foster Care Facts
Within the United States, statistics show that upwards of 500,000 children are currently engaged within the Foster Care System; in addition, the primary catalysts for placement in Foster Care results from abusive and neglectful households:
The median age of an individual within the Foster Care system employed within the United States of America is 10 years of age
Within an individual breakdown of applicable demographics with regard to children in foster care, the following statistics have been made available: 6% of children in foster care are recorded as being below 1 year of age, 26% of children in Foster Care are between 1 and 5 years of age, 20% of children in Foster Care are between 6 and 10 years of age, 28% of children in Foster Care are between 11 and 15 years of age, 18% of children inFoster Care are between 16 and 18 years of age, and 2% of individuals in Foster Care are above the age of 19
The genders recorded with regard to individuals in Foster Care illustrate females undertaking 48% of fostered individuals, while males account for 52% of the total amount of individuals fostered
With regard to the breakdown of Foster Care demographics with regard to race and ethnicity, the following statistics have been made available as per the entirety of the population of individuals in Foster Care: African Americans account for 15%, Caucasians account for 61%, and  Hispanics account for 17%
The median duration of stays undertaken by individuals in Foster Care has been recorded as almost 29 months on an individual, case-by-case basis

South Carolina Adoption

South Carolina Adoption

A brief guide to South Carolina adoptions
"Family law" is a broad term referring to many different types of regulations involved in domestic law. One common aspect of legal practice in this field concerns South Carolina adoption of a minor child. This is not a process to be undertaken lightly. Not only do South Carolina adoptions require you to assume many responsibilities towards a child, you will need to undertake an extensive review process before you are allowed to do so.
There are four different types of adoption. A South Carolina adoption may fall into the following categories:
• Private adoptions involve a parent or parents voluntarily giving up their child, for whatever reason, into another couple or single parent's custody. These kinds of South Carolina adoptions will often require a lawyer who can draft the documentation necessary to ensure the process is completed in a legally correct fashion.
• Public adoptions concern children who are in the care of the state's child protective services. 
• Interagency South Carolina adoptions involve children who have been given up by their parents and given in custody to an agency responsible for finding a new home.
• International adoptions concern minor children from another country. A lawyer will almost certainly be necessary to make sure that this kind of South Carolina adoption follows the laws of the state and the other country in question.
Before undertaking any of these kinds of proceedings, you will need to undergo a "homestudy" process. This is designed to make sure that anyone who wishes to complete South Carolina adoptions is mentally and fiscally capable of taking good care of a minor child. You will need to make your medical and financial records available to the person appointed by the state to undertake this process. 
Additionally, in order to have your request to undertake a South Carolina adoption approved, you will need to undergo extensive interviews. During these sessions, you will be asked about your expectations as a potential parent, your upbringing and your views on parenting. You  may wish to consult with a lawyer to help guide you through this component of South Carolina adoptions. Until you have successfully completed the homestudy process, you cannot adopt any children.
You should be aware that the process of completing a South Carolina adoption can be very expensive. For example, if you enter into a private adoption agreement, you will have to sign a contract detailing your obligations to the birth parent. These kinds of South Carolina adoptions may obligate you to pay for all expense related to the process of giving birth, such as hospital bills. Do not commit to this process until you have estimated all the expenses which will be involved.
It may be possible to minimize some of the expenses involved in a South Carolina adoption. A federal tax credit is available for those who complete this process. Additionally, those who adopt children who are deemed to have "special needs" may be eligible for additional financial assistance.



What is Fostering?

The process of fostering another individual exists within the realm of Family Law; Fostering is defined as the procedure undertaken with regard to the granting of temporary supervision over an individual by an individual or entity who is not legally classified as maintaining guardianship or familial ties to the fostered individual.

Fostering vs. Adopting

In contrast with adoption, Fostering shares in in neither the permanence nor the assumed responsibility attributed within the adoption process. While the process of adopting a child is considered to be an immediate contingency plan with regard to children who have been abandoned or removed from their respective birth parents, Fostering a child is not typically considered to share in the urgency or contingency latent within adoption; governmental bodies responsible for the Fostering of children will typically consider the implementation of the Fostering process only after the prospect of familial reunification has been deemed not to be in the best interest of that individual:

Fostering a Child

Though rarely uniform, relative family members such as cousins and grandparents may be sought out with regard to the supervision of a child prior to the potential fostering of a particular child.

In certain cases, funding disbursed by the jurisdictional governing body responsible for the oversight of the Fostering of children will be granted to eligible foster parents.

Individuals fostering a child are considered to assume guardianship no paternity of the fostered individual.

Fostering a child occurs on a temporary basis; only subsequent to individual, judicial review of a particular familial setting or circumstance will a decision be rendered with regard to the permanency of a situation in which a child is fostered.

Adopting a Child

In contrast to the Fostering of a child, the adoption of a child allows the individual or individuals undertaking the adoption of the child in question to maintain legal guardianship in tandem with legal responsibility with regard to the adoptee.

Unlike Fostering as child, the adoption of a child is considered to be a permanent measure; the obligation undertaken by an adoptive parent – or adoptive parents – is considered to exist in the long-term.

In lieu of funding disbursed to individuals undertaking the Fostering of individuals, adoptive parents are typically ineligible to receive funding with regard to the costs of adoption, in addition to funding with regard to the cost of living implicit within an adoption.

Unless otherwise expressed, adoptive parents maintain established paternity with regard to adoptees; as a result, they are traditionally permitted to permit or prohibit visitation with birth parents – conversely, individuals Fostering other individuals are unable to assume the imposition of such measures regulating any such visitation.

The Legality of Fostering an Individual

Contact an adoption lawyer for legal advice and assistance.

Despite their latent differences, the screening process with regard to Fostering a child consists of similar guidelines, eligibility, qualifications, and standards as does the screening process required by prospective parents; typically, individuals interested in Fostering children will be required to:

Undergo thorough background checks, including the review of financial and criminal records.

Complete informational programs and instructional classes provided by the United States government

Adhere to a schedule in which inspections and interviews conducted by government employees may take place