It is important that you understand the different types of adoption if you are considering adopting. There are open adoptions, semi-open adoptions, and also closed adoptions. There are private adoptions as well. Texas has an abundance of adoption agencies that can assist you with the steps necessary to become a licensed foster-adopt home for children in the state’s care. There are relative and stepparent adoptions. Adult adoptions are also possible.
1. Adult Adoption
If you considering adoption, but the child is approaching legal adulthood, adult adoption is one option. Adult adoptions officially recognize that a parent/child relationship has been created. The adult who is being adopted must consent to the adoption, and the parents (if married) must both adopt together as petitioners. In considering whether to delay adoption until your child has become an adult, there are some important factors to consider:
Adult adoption should not be a substitute for estate planning. Whether you adopt your child before or after their 18th birthday, ensure that they are included in your Will.
No home study is needed for adult adoption. No criminal background.
Termination of birth parents’ rights is only a prerequisite for the adoption of a child under the age of 18. For adults being adopted, there is no formal de-recognition of their birth parents’ rights along the lines of what occurs when a child is adopted.
It may be psychologically important to the child to see the biological parents’ relationship legally terminated so that they can close that chapter of their story.
Terminating a parent’s rights is the formal removal of one of their inalienable rights.
The adoptive parents of an adult simply take the place of the birth parents, and the adoptee may no longer inherit from or through their birth parents.
2. Foster Care Adoption
Foster care provides safe and loving homes to children waiting to be adopted. Becoming a licensed foster family is also an option that may be a perfect fit for your family. When adopting a foster child, the timeline may be shorter. There may be adoption assistance available in the form of reimbursement for reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other costs directly related to the legal completion of the adoption.
3. Relative Adoption
Often called a kinship adoption, is the adoption of a child by a biological relative. This could be a grandparent, older sibling, aunt and/ or uncle, or any other biological relative. If the biological relative is married the spouse of the biological relative will also be considered a biological relative.
4. Stepparent Adoption
Stepparent adoption is a two-step process. If both biological parents are living, the first step is the termination of parental rights of the biological parent that is not married to the stepparent. This may be done voluntarily or by a court order. The stepparent then files a petition to adopt.
Once the adoption has taken place, the adopted child will receive a new birth certificate and can take the last name of the stepparent. Stepparent adoption is the most common form of adoption.
Open, Semi-Open or Closed Adoptions
Open Adoptions are also called Agreed Adoptions. In an open adoption, the biological parents and the adoptive parents have agreed to certain levels of contact. These agreements often contain expectations, guidelines, and boundaries.
In a Semi-Open Adoption the biological parents and the adoptive parents share some information, often through a third party, but usually do not share identifying information.
Closed Adoptions are not as common as they once were. In a closed adoption birth records are sealed.
This is a complicated process and you will need an experienced Adoption Attorney to guide you through the process. Call us today at (210) 226-2227 to discuss your unique circumstances.
We would be happy to help you make things better for your family.