Adoption is an exciting decision that can quickly become stressful due to its many complexities and requirements.
An adoption attorney can help you navigate this complex process and realize your dream of parenthood.
Are you thinking about adopting? Here's why you should work with The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX...
Our Arlington Adoption Attorneys Provide Families with:
Decades in Practice
Attorney Donna J. Smiedt began practicing family law in 1986, and she became a Board Certified Family Law Attorney - Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1991. Because our law office focuses on the very unique practice areas of family law and adoption law, our lawyers are able to provide efficient service and satisfying results for families in Arlington, Fort Worth, and throughout Texas.
Care and Compassion
Our attorneys understand that hopeful adoptive parents face a very unique challenge. We will communicate with birth parents, adoption agencies, and other institutions on your behalf so that you can focus on what's important—your family. Our Arlington lawyers want families to feel comfortable at our law firm, where you can expect home-like accommodations.
Our adoption attorneys have represented families in all types of adoption cases, including those involving stepparents, international children, and foster children. Because our attorneys have been practicing adoption law for over three decades, we can provide the knowledge, advice, and care you need no matter how complex your legal issues are.
Do you really need an adoption lawyer?
Without an Adoption Attorney the Process Can:
Be More Difficult
The process of adopting a child is complex, and the steps involved can vary substantially depending on where you are adopting the child from, their age, and more. Our law office deals with every type of adoption issue, and we can help you understand your rights and responsibilities at every step in the process.
Take More Time
Whether you choose a private adoption or work with an adoption agency, the process can take years. An adoption attorney from our firm can work with the adoption agency or the biological parents to ensure all legal requirements are met and your rights are protected, making it as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
Have Negative Consequences
Adopting is a major life decision and should not be entered into lightly. Without a lawyer on your side, you run the risk of entering into an agreement that does not serve your best interests or those of your adopted child in the future. Before you take any important steps, contact an adoption attorney to discuss your case.
Are You Adopting?
Schedule a Consultation
With Our Top-Rated Law Firm
Adopting and growing your family are exciting decisions, and an attorney can help you ensure a smooth, efficient process.
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt is a top-rated law firm that has helped families in Arlington, Southlake, Westover Hills, Fort Worth, and throughout Texas navigate the adoption process for over three decades. Attorney Donna J. Smiedt is a Board-Certified Family Law Attorney - Texas Board of Legal Specialization who has received extensive training in adoption law. Her compassionate demeanor and results have earned her dozens of five-star reviews and positive testimonials from families throughout Texas.
To talk to an adoption attorney about your case, request a consultation online or call us:
Read Our Reviews
Donna is awesome! Helpful, insightful and very patient when someone babbles on... I should know. I'm a babbler.
If you're looking for representation, help or advice, look no further.
Donna and Aida and the rest of the staff are amazing including the therapy dogs.. You will not be disappointed!!View On Google
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt is a top-rated law firm that has helped families throughout Texas navigate the adoption process for over three decades.
Our Law Office Can Assist With Every Type of Adoption
When you adopt a child, you assume the legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent.There are several types of adoption you can pursue, and our Arlington, TX, law office can handle every kind, including:
Whether you are working with a public or private adoption agency, our adoption lawyers can assist you.
Private adoptions take place outside of an agency. Our adoption lawyers can help you work out favorable arrangements with the child's biological parents.
Relative adoption is another type of private adoption in which a relative of the biological parent (such as a parent, sibling, or spouse) adopts a child. These include stepparent and grandparent adoptions.
If you are adopting foster children, you may need to attend multiple hearings before a decision is reached. Our Arlington adoption attorneys can assist you with any legal hurdles during this time to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Many families in Texas choose to adopt children from foreign countries. International adoptions require additional steps, such as obtaining immigrant visas for the adoptive children. For this reason, a lawyer can be vital to the success of an international adoption process.
We're Here for You
We are conveniently located for families throughout Arlington, Fort Worth, Southlake, Westover Hills, and other communities in Texas. Alongside our adoption lawyers, you can navigate the complexities associated with the adoption process and ensure you meet all the necessary requirements.
More Reviews from Satisfied Clients
Donna has represented my son in a child custody case and my wife and I in a grandparents custody case and she has done a masterful job. I don't know where my grandchildren would be without Donna. She has given them a chance to have a much better life and a chance to be loved and grow into well rounded adults. Donna is a very caring person that really looks out for the benefit of children and her clients.View On Google
Donna was my attorney during a very difficult divorce. She is very supportive, professional, ethical and well-respected by her clients, the judges and DFW legal community. Her staff is fantastic. In addition to divorces, Donna has provided professional services in other family law issues I have faced as well will preparation. The services she and her staff have provided to me, my husband and children span a time frame of almost 20 years. I would never consider going to any other attorney for any type of family law issues. Her knowledge in family law cannot be found anywhere else and I highly recommend her. Valerie M.View On Google
Contact Our Law Firm & Receive the Support You Need
Our family law attorneys understand how important the decision to adopt a child is. The last thing you want to worry about when you decide to grow your family is legal obstacles. Our team can assist you throughout the entire process to protect your rights and help you add a new member to your family. For more information about how our team can help, contact our firm online to book a consultation with a family law attorney or call:
Are You Eligible to Become an Adoptive Parent?
In the state of Texas, any adult can adopt a child. However, there are some factors for families in Arlington, Southlake, Westover Hills, Fort Worth, and Texas to consider:
Currently, Texas does not have a minimum or maximum age limit for individuals who want to adopt.
If you are married, you must adopt with your spouse. This applies to stepparents who want to adopt a spouse's child.
Texas does not have specific adoption laws prohibiting same-sex couples or unmarried individuals from adopting.
Hopeful adoptive parents must be in good overall health in order to adopt. They must also have adequate income to be able to provide for their adoptive children.
The Right Home Environment
In general, homeownership is not required. However, adoptive families must show that they can provide a stable, comfortable, and safe home for their adoptive child.
Legally, anyone can adopt. But individual adoption agencies and institutions have their own requirements, so hopeful parents should always consult with an attorney.
Additionally, it is important to note that adoption is closed to individuals who have committed serious offenses, including:
- Public indecency
- Sexual assault
- Firearms violations
- Felony in the past 10 years
What can you expect as an adoptive parent?
If you are considering adopting a child, your first step should be to consult with an attorney. Our Arlington team can review the different types of adoption and explain the pros and cons of each.
Type of Adoption
Next, decide which type of adoption to pursue. If you choose to work through an agency, keep in mind that there are many agencies that specialize in adoption and it is crucial you work with a reputable organization during the process.
Families in Arlington, Fort Worth, and throughout Texas must pass a home study in order to adopt. The objective of a home study is to determine whether hopeful parents and adoptive children are a good match. A home study includes background checks, personal references, home visits, interviews, and an examination of your recent health history.
Some agencies require potential adoptive parents to sign contracts or pay fees early in the process. Our team can review any paperwork provided by the agency before you sign to make sure you remain protected.
Termination of Parental Rights
For adoption to move forward, the rights of the biological parent must first be terminated, either voluntarily or through a court decision. A parent can voluntarily give up their rights by signing an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights. However, there are several situations that result in an involuntary termination of rights, including the abandonment of the child, voluntarily leaving the child in the care of someone else for more than six months, endangering the child, and failing to support the child for at least a year.
Our lawyers will assist you in bringing your case to a judge so that he or she can review the birth parents' termination of parental rights and the adoptive parents' suitability to adopt. Depending on the circumstances of your adoption case, the birth parent may or may not be present at the finalization. If the child you are adopting is 12 or older, they must consent to the adoption unless the courts waive the requirement.
After placement, the degree of communication between the adoptive parents, birth parents, and the adopted child is determined by the agreed-upon plan. Our adoption lawyers can help you develop a plan that includes a level of communication that you are comfortable with.
Reducing the Stress of Adoption Request a Consultation
Adoption is a major life event for all parties involved. Emotions, stress, and the pressure of making sure every detail is perfect take their toll.
Donna J. Smiedt understands the strain. As a board-certified family law attorney in practice since 1986, she has spent decades dealing with adoptions and is familiar with the changing Texas legal code regarding adoptions.
Our Arlington practice makes a point of lifting the burden. In addition to ensuring documents are filed correctly and on time, we explain what to expect at each stage as the legal process unfolds.
While the adoption process can be lengthy, our family law practice makes it manageable and as efficient as possible. You can start growing your family now by sending us a message online or calling to request a consultation.
Post-Adoption Agreements Help Set Boundaries
There are no rules when it comes to open adoptions in Texas, so it’s up to the birth parents and adoptive parents to decide how comfortable they feel about maintaining a relationship after the adoption is finalized.
To avoid hurt feelings and misunderstandings, it is often wise to agree in writing what the relationship should be after the adoption is finalized. Does it mean a yearly letter and photo to the birth mother? Or will there be yearly, or more frequent, in-person visits? A post-adoption contract can help answer these questions, so they don't turn into obstacles.
There is one caveat. Post-adoption contracts are not legally enforceable in Texas. The contract’s value lies in making sure everyone understands at the start what to expect. And, should feelings change over time, the agreement provides a mechanism for the two sides to sit down and talk about what’s working and what’s not.
The attorneys at the Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt have spent decades helping families create clear boundaries between the birth parents and adoptive parents. We understand the problems that can crop up, and can help you define what you want in a future relationship.
Serving Arlington, Southlake, and Westover Hills, TX
Respected by Clients
Donna is a great lawyer been a client of the firm for 20 years she all ways get the job done with the best results and a great relationship with you Rickey CView On Google
Donna Smiedt is a phenomenal attorney. I was very lucky to have had her work on a touchy adoption case. I would recommend her to anyone. Her compassion and empathy is unique in the world of law yet feriously tough when she needs to be.View On Google