The adoption of a child is a wonderful event for a family. It is important to know how to navigate through the state and interstate adoption process. For 12 years, San Antonio adoption lawyer James Meyrat has been assisting families with the joyous process of adopting a child. He concentrate on ensuring you understand all aspects of the child adoption process.

James Meyrat represents families in:

Stepparent adoptions
Private adoptions
Grandparent adoptions
Foreign adoptions
Interstate Adoptions
Agency adoptions

Foreign Adoptions

Many families turn to foreign countries for a baby adoption. Adoption lawyer James Meyrat works with Hague-accredited adoption service providers that offer a full set of intercountry adoption services in collaboration with other agencies. Depending on the country, the adoption may be finalized in the child’s birth country or in the U.S. Either way, it is important to have the adoption finalized, re-finalized, or recognized in a U.S. court. Adoption lawyer James Meyrat has intercountry adoption experience to assist you with the international adoption process and with obtaining a U.S. birth certificate for your child.

Private Adoptions & Agency Adoption

In a private adoption the adopting parent will have to actually locate a birth mother who is willing to place her child for adoption.

In an agency adoption the prospective adoptive parents will apply with the agency and wait for the agency to notify them that they have been selected to parent a particular child. The agency will locate the birth mother. The agency will then act as an intermediary between the birth parents and the adoptive couple. The agency will deal with the birth parents and make all of the arrangements to facilitate the adoption.

Both of these kind of adoptions require a a pre adoptive home screening report prepared by a licensed social worker with experience with adoption studies. The process will include interviews with the adoptive parents; obtaining verification of certain legal documents; obtaining letters of reference from friends and family; confirmation of your financial status; and running a criminal history and child abuse check. This report is filed with the court that grants the termination of parental rights. Usually the termination of parental rights is granted based upon the consent of birth parents.

The home screening will then be updated through post placement visits. This post placement report will be submitted to the court at the time of the adoption hearing. If all goes well, the court will sign the final adoption papers at that time and the family can celebrate its new status. All family members are invited to the final hearing and to have pictures taken with the judge in honor of the new family unit.

Stepparent Adoptions & Termination of Parental Rights

A stepparent adoption is generally considered a very good thing. It cements the family relationship and for all purposes, the relationship between stepparent and child becomes the same as if the parent was the biological parent. When a stepparent wishes to establish legal rights to a child, we can draft a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights for the estranged biological parent to sign. That parent’s rights must be terminated before the adoption can move forward. Both the termination of the biological parent’s rights and the granting of the stepparent’s request for adoption must be in the best interest of the child.

If the biological parent is alive but will not sign the voluntary agreement, you can file a suit for termination of his or her parental rights. Reasons you wish to terminate parental rights may include a biological parent who is:

Not involved in the child’s life
In jail or prison
Addicted to alcohol or drugs

The court will evaluate the circumstances of the case and decide whether it is in the best interest of the child for the biological parent’s rights to be terminated. You must try to notify the parent of your intent to terminate his or her parental rights. If the absent parent cannot be located, evidence must be presented that reasonable attempts to locate the parent have been taken.

The final step to the adoption is a court hearing attended by the stepparent, biological parent to whom the stepparent is married and the child or children involved. If all goes well, the court will sign the final adoption papers at that time and the family can celebrate its new status. All family members are invited to the final hearing and to have pictures taken with the judge in honor of the new family unit.

If you are a stepparent seeking to adopt your stepchild, contact family law attorney James Meyrat today. He has many years of experience and will be happy to answer all your questions and represent you through the adoption process.

Interstate Private Adoptions

When you work with a birth mother in another state you will have to comply with the laws of both states. This means that you will need an attorney in both states. The attorneys will have to confer with each other to determine where it will be best for you to complete the legal process.

An interstate adoption also requires compliance with the Interstate Compact which is a uniform set of regulations between states. The compact basically states that you can not bring a child from one state to another, for the purposes of adoption, without obtaining permission from the Compact Administrator. The compact requires documentation showing that the parental rights have been or can be terminated, a copy of the genetic history for a child and the home study.

James Meyrat advises clients that it typically takes 7-10 days to get the approval from the Interstate Compact. During this time you will not be able to return to Texas with the child.

Your private adoption can not be finalized until the child has been in your possession for six months. At the time of the adoption you must present the court with a social study, a genetic history, and the results of a criminal history report.

Whether you are just starting your adoption search or you already have a child matched with you by the birth parents or an agency, James Meyrat’s expertise and experience can help you to successfully finalize your adoption. He looks forward to the opportunity to work with you. Please call the office at 210-733-6235 to schedule an appointment with a Adoption Lawyer James Meyrat today.