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Terminations & Adoptions

This page is intended as a very general overview of step-parent adoptions. The statements and information provided on this website are for informational purposes only. This site is not intended to provide legal advice to the reader and NO attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to arise from the receipt of this page. An attorney-client relationship only arises after the attorney and client have signed a written attorney-client agreement, after the attorney has evaluated the background facts provided and has accepted the representation of the client's legal action.

These days, there are many children who are being jointly raised by a natural parent and a step-parent. Unless the step-parent has completed the adoption process, however, he or she will not have full legal parental rights and responsibilities toward the child. If the other biological parent is dead or has already had his or her parental rights terminated, a step-parent can proceed immediately to the process of adopting the step-child.

If the other natural parent is still alive, his or her parental rights will need to be terminated before the step-parent can adopt. Among the most common grounds for termination of parental rights in step-parent adoption cases are:

  • The other parent has not been involved in the child's life for several years;
  • The other parent has provided no support for the child for an extended period of time;
  • The other parent is incarcerated for a serious crime such as a drug or sex offense; or
  • The other parent has, or desires to, voluntarily relinquish his or her rights to the child.

Sometimes, the other parent will attempt to oppose the adoption process. The decision to terminate a natural parent's parental rights is a huge one that the courts in Texas take very seriously. In this case, it will be necessary to show that the termination is justified and that adoption by the stepparent is in the best interests of the child. You will need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to navigate this process. Please contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss your situation in more detail.

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