Adoption Lawyers in Central Texas
Dunnam & Dunnam attorneys are routinely involved in adoption cases. Adoption is one of the most positive things that can occur in a courtroom and Dunnam & Dunnam finds it an honor to be involved in such matters. If you need an adoption lawyer in Central Texas, call Dunnam & Dunnam at 254-753-6437.
To discuss your adoption matter with an experienced Central Texas adoption lawyer, contact one of our family law attorneys at 254-753-6437.
Vance has 60 years of experience as a lawyer in Waco, Texas handling all types of cases in both the office and the courtroom.Read More
Vance has been licensed by the State Bar of Texas since 1977 and has practiced law in Waco, Texas since 1978.Read More
Merrilee L. Harmon is a Family Law specialist, Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1985.Read More
Andrea's practice focuses primarily in Appellate Law, Civil Trial Law, Family Law, Immigration Law, and General Law.Read More
Thomas C. West is a Criminal Law specialist, Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.Read More
Jim Dunnam is a Board Certified Specialist in both Civil Trial Law and Family Law.Read More
Eleeza's practice areas include: Personal Injury Law, Civil Trial Law, Commercial Law, Family Law and Pharmaceutical Law.Read More
Gerald R. Villarrial has practiced family law, criminal law and civil litigation for over 20 years.Read More
Brittany is a member of the McLennan County Bar Association, and McLennan County Young Lawyers Association.Read More
Mason Dunnam is the fourth generation of Dunnam attorneys at the firm since 1925Read More
Call us at 254-753-6437 to discuss your adoption matter with an experienced Waco adoption lawyer.
What are the steps for adoption?
- Determine if you are eligible to adopt. Texas law provides some basic requirements that prospective parents must meet. To be eligible to adopt in Texas, a person must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be willing to complete an application and provide references from family members and non-family members.
- Undergo a criminal background check
- Complete a home study
- Attend training to learn about abused or neglected children
- Decide if you will adopt from the Department of Family and Protective Services or a private adoption agency.
- Locate a private adoption agency in your area.
- If you will work with the (“DFPS”), attend an adoption information meeting. Adoption information meetings are free of charge and no appointment is needed in order to attend. To find an information meeting near you, select your county from the drop down box located on the DFPS’s Adoption Information Meetings webpage. If no information meeting is scheduled in your area, you will be provided with the contact information for DFPS staff in your area so that you may obtain the adoption information.
- Register for and attend a Parent Resource Information Development Education (“PRIDE”) class. PRIDE is a training program provided by Child Protective Services (“CPS”) and required for all adoptive parents. PRIDE consists of sessions on loss and grief, child attachment, and the affects of adopting on a family. To register, call the Metropolitan One Church One Child of Texas, Inc. at,(713) 988-2658.
- Complete a home study. A home study must be conducted by a licensed child placement agency and will consist of an in-home inspection and interview with all household members. Talk to DFPS or your private adoption agency about scheduling your home study. Minimum standards used in conducting the home study can be located on the DFPS’s website on its Guidelines for Home Studies page. Issues that will be addressed during the home study include :
Motivation. The caseworker who conducts your home study will ask about your reasons for adopting and how long you have been considering adoption. They are looking for an indication that you want to love and nurture children, and connect them to lifelong relationships.
Applicants’ feelings about themselves, their parents, and their childhood. Your caseworker will ask you about your childhood, how you were disciplined, and what you would do differently than your parents.
Family interaction. You will be asked to provide details about your current and previous relationships, your religion, family rules, your extended family, and how you handle stress.
Home environment. The caseworker will look at your neighborhood, home maintenance, housekeeping standards, and sleeping arrangements. You should be prepared to discuss your financial situation, safety issues (such as firearms, stairs, and medications), and your ability to manage money.
Dealing with separation and loss. Be prepared to discuss any losses you have suffered and how you dealt with them, as well as how that has equipped you to deal with losses suffered by the adopted child, such as his or her birth parents, and placement in your home.
Dealing with children who have been physically, or sexually abused and/or neglected. Your caseworker will want to know about your understanding of the dynamics of child abuse and neglect and your ability to help the child with their experience of abuse or neglect.
Child management and discipline. During your home study, you will be asked about how you were disciplined as a child, how you feel about the discipline now, how you intend to discipline the child, and how to make your plan consistent with DFPS’s disciplinary policy.
- Look for a child to adopt. There are several ways that you can locate children awaiting adoption, including:
Using the DFPS search tool. If you are working with DFPS to adopt a child, you may search for children waiting for a forever family using the DFPS Search for Children Waiting for Adoption database.
Register for a free account at AdoptUSKids.org. Adopt USKids allows register users to access child and sibling group profiles, create an online profile for your family, and inquire about children with a click of the mouse.
Search the National Adoption Center’s Children Waiting for Adoption database. The database includes photographs and information about each child’s abilities, interests, and hobbies.
Look for children awaiting adoption on the Adopt America Network website. The Adopt America Network specializes in finding homes for hard to place and special needs children.
View photos and profiles of children awaiting adoption at Children Awaiting Parents (“CAP”), and organization dedicated to finding homes for foster children.
Meet waiting children at the Northwest Adoption Exchange. The Exchange provides photos and profiles of children awaiting adoption in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.
- Select a child. Before choosing a child, learn all that you can about the child’s background and birth family, interests, hobbies, and family ties. You want to choose a child that will fit right in with your family, without too much adjustment
- Complete any required pre-placement visits. DFPS or your adoption agency may require pre-placement visits to ensure that your family and home are ready for the child you have chosen.
- Bring your child home. Once you have completed all of the pre-placement and home study requirements, DFPS or your adoption agency will make arrangements for you to bring your child home.
- Hire an adoption attorney. Once your child has been placed in your home, you will need to go through the Court process of making the child legally yours. You may choose to do this yourself, but the process is complicated, and an experienced adoption attorney will be able to move your adoption along smoothly and quickly.
- Attend a final adoption hearing. You, your adopted child, and any other children you have should attend the final adoption hearing. Your attorney will be present as well. The Court will ask you a few basic questions, review the file to ensure that all requirements have been met, and sign the adoption decree.
- Ensure that your child’s birth certificate is reissued. In order to have your child’s birth certificate reissued showing you (and your spouse is applicable) as the birth parents, you or your attorney will need to complete a Certificate of Adoption by following the instructions provided on page 2 of the Certificate.