Child Adoption
Beaumont Adoption Lawyer

Beaumont Adoption Lawyer

Adopting a child in Beaumont is much easier to do than most people realize. The hardest part of adopting can be finding a child to adopt. This seems odd since there are so many children in foster homes across Texas. The Law Firm of Galmor, Stovall & Gilthorpe, PLLC is not a child placing agency and therefore cannot assist you in locating a child. We can, however, assist prospective mothers and adoptive families in completing the adoption process.

If you would like to discuss your plans for adoption please contact us at (409)832.7752 for a free consultation.

Types of Adoption in Beaumont

Adoptions of a step-child by a step-parent and adoptions of a non-related child. Both require essentially the same paperwork, but the cost can be very different depending on the circumstances and complexity involved, age of the child, etc.

Adopting a step-child

Adopting a step-child can happen in one of several scenarios. If the biological parent (the one not residing with the child) is willing to “sign away his/her rights” then it can happen rather seamlessly. If a biological parent has died, it can also be done this way.

Adopting a non-related child

Adopting a non-related child, on the other hand, requires more time and effort, and is therefore more expensive. Our firm handles both types of adoptions and would love to answer any questions you may have.

Basic Requirements for Prospective Adoptive Parents

The prospective adoptive parents may be single or married and must:

Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults
Complete an application (staff will assist you, if you prefer)
Share information regarding their background and lifestyle
Provide relative and non-relative references
Show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable)
Agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members
Allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household, and
Attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children

Grandparent Custody Rights in Beaumont

Grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s life and can develop strong bonds that last a lifetime.

Today, every state has some type of grandparent visitation law. Grandparents’ rights generally apply to the custody of a grandchild and visitation privileges. Grandparents may file suit requesting custody if they believe it is in the child’s best interest. Visitation statutes vary widely from state to state. In Texas, a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the child’s best interest, and one of the following circumstances exists:

The parents divorced
The parent abused or neglected the child
The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died
A court-order terminated the parent-child relationship; or
The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months

Visitation statutes do not give a grandparent an absolute right to visitation. Also, a grandparent may not request visitation if the grandchild has been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent.

If your grandchild lives with you, you may wish to seek custody. As a custodial parent, you can apply for child support. Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial and medical support for their children. If you have custody, they will be required to pay it to you. You can reach the Texas Attorney General – Child Support Division at (800) 252-8014.

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Involuntary termination requires that a high legal standard be met. Generally, most of the time, courts are required to find by clear and convincing evidence that termination is in the best interest of the child and is supported by one of the stated legal reasons for termination of parental rights.

The reasons a parent’s rights can be involuntarily terminated fall into the following categories:

The Parent Abandoned or did not support the child
The Parent Endangered the Child
The Parent Engaged in Criminal Conduct
The Parent is otherwise unfit

Chapter 161 of the Texas Family Code contains more information the different reasons a parents rights can be involuntarily terminated.

What should I expect in adoption proceedings?

Adoption cases require a number of studies and reports.

Generally, these reports and studies help show the court that transferring parental rights to the adoptive parents is best for the child. At the same time, reports must be provided to the adoptive parents to make sure that they have the information they need to properly care for their adopted child.

These studies generally include:

Personal interviews of the adoptive parents and the child
Evaluations of home environments where the child might live
Observations of the child in different home environments
Assessments of the childs relationship with the involved adults
Consideration of criminal history reports for anyone living in the homes that are being studied

Unless the adoptive parents are the childs grandparent, aunt, uncle or stepparent, then additional reports must also be made to ensure that the adoptive parents have the information they need to properly care for the child.

These reports include health, social, educational and genetic history information about the child.

Resources for Child Adoption in Beaumont

Texas Adoption Resource Exchange – The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) website helps match children awaiting adoption with adoptive parents. It includes photos and profile information on children available for adoption and allows families to provide information about their adoption preferences and interests in adopting a child.

Heart Gallery – The Heart Gallery of Central Texas, a program of Partnerships for Children, features portraits of Central Texas children in the foster care system who are available for adoption. Working together, our community raises awareness around adoption, foster care and permanency.