Grandparents can adopt their grandchildren under certain circumstances. When the custodial parent can no longer take care of a child and keep them healthy and safe, sometimes a grandparent is the best option. If you are considering taking such a step, it’s crucial to understand the process.
Adoption can take on many forms. While society often thinks of a young couple or single parent wanting to start or expand their family with adoption, other types of adoptions are just as important. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, grandparents want or need to adopt their grandchildren. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) reports that 2.7 million American grandparents are currently raising at least one of their grandkids. Often these situations arise from their grandchildren not being protected or cared for by their own parents.
Some situations require care from a grandparent, but not necessarily a long-term plan such as adoption. For instance, in the case of a parent’s deployment or short-term incarceration, grandparents can be caregivers but don’t necessarily need to adopt. Grandparents who want to or think it might be best if they adopt their grandchildren should speak to a Sugar Land grandparents rights lawyer about their next steps.
The Process to Adopt a Grandchild in Texas
Before a grandparent has the legal ability to adopt their grandchild, the parental rights to the child have to be legally terminated. Sometimes parents will voluntarily give up these rights, and in some situations, the court will strip them of their rights. Adoption can’t take place if parental rights are still intact. Suppose the parent is willing to give up their rights. In that case, a Sugar Land grandparents rights attorney can help them complete the necessary paperwork and court filings.
Next, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) will perform a home study. This study is required no matter your current situation. Even if your grandkids have lived in your home for years or all of their lives, the study must be done. Keep in mind that it isn’t done with the intent of finding a reason as to why you shouldn’t be able to adopt your grandchild but rather to ensure that the children are in a safe and healthy environment.
If your grandchild is over 12 years of age, Texas law requires their consent to the adoption. However, if they don’t consent, the court can still approve the adoption if they believe it to be in their best interests.
Finally, you will be required to go to a court hearing before the judge overseeing the case. While it might sound daunting, it’s usually a quick process. Your Sugar Land grandparents rights lawyer will be with you during this hearing. If need be, parental rights can be terminated, and the adoption can be finalized in the same hearing.
Do You Have Questions about Grandparent Adoptions? Contact an Experienced Sugar Land Grandparents Rights Lawyer Today
The process of adopting a grandchild can be complicated. Suppose you are a grandparent considering adopting your grandchild. In that case, it’s highly recommended that you seek guidance from an experienced Sugar Land grandparents rights attorney. At Jaime Jordan, PLLC, we can help you understand and explore your options. Call (832) 463-4933 or reach out to us online to schedule a complimentary consultation.