Stepparent adoptions can be tricky, as they usually involve terminating the rights of the other biological parent. Usually this is accomplished by that parent agreeing and signing over their rights. However, some cases need to be litigated in order to obtain the necessary termination order. If you are in that position, here are three things you can do to position yourself for a successful adoption:

  1. Get a sense of whether your former spouse is likely to contest the adoption. A stepparent adoption that is uncontested is far less expensive and far less emotionally draining than a contested adoption. It is very helpful to know ahead of time whether the other biological parent is going to contest the adoption.
  2. Make sure you meet the other guidelines to adopt in Texas. To adopt a child in Texas, the child must reside in Texas. In addition, he or she must have live in the county where the adoption is taking place. Finally, the child must have lived in the same household as the stepparent for the last 6 months.
  3. Realize your celebration of the adoption will be different during COVID. Before COVID, it was common to have extra people in the courtroom when an adoption was finalized because it is a landmark that many families want to experience together and celebrate. For the foreseeable future, additional people are not permitted, so families should expect to see the final step in the adoption via Zoom.

To schedule a consultation with Fort Worth Family Law Attorney Nathan Hatton, call (817) 349-8120.

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