It takes a kind and loving person to take in foster children. It is a selfless act. Despite the fact that the state offers nominal financial support to foster parents, for the most part, they are totally responsible for caring for their foster children. It can be expensive. It can also take a huge emotional toll, knowing that, at any point, the foster children can be removed from your home. If their parents get their act together, they can file a petition to get their kids back. Or, a family member of the biological parents can step in and try to get custody of the kids you’ve come to love as your own.
A lot of families who have foster children ultimately decide to adopt them. They come to know and love these kids. Their foster children become part of their family and become, well, their children. The foster label disappears. They live with you and your other children. You take care of them when they’re sick. You take them to school and help them with their homework. You take them on vacation and buy them Christmas presents. They are your children – whether that means they’re your legal children or not.
So it’s not surprising when you and your spouse decide to file a petition to adopt your foster children. The process is very similar to any other adoption. The only challenge can be that their parents are very likely to object to the adoption. If the mother or father decides that they want to get their kids back, their last chance to do that is when you file a motion to adopt them. If this happens to you, it’s a good idea to call our office and talk to an experienced adoption attorney in Houston.
You Still Have to Terminate the Biological Parents’ Legal Rights
Even though you’ve been a foster parent for years, the biological parents still have legal rights. At any point, if they prove that they can take care of their kids, they can demand to get them back. It can take months or years. If they comply with all the demands of DSS, they may be able to get their kids back. This can be frustrating for foster parents. You grow to love these children and then, out of nowhere, the state can come in and remove the children from your home.
This isn’t just hard for the foster parent. It is also very hard for foster children. They finally get used to living in your home and then they’ve torn away. This is why a lot of foster parents decide to adopt their foster children. This gives the situation the permanence everyone needs. In order to do this, however, you have to terminate the parental rights of the children’s biological parents. This isn’t easy. Asking a judge to strip a parent of their legal rights is hard. It’s a decision that can’t be undone. Your Houston adoption lawyer will have to present hard proof that the children will be better with your family than with their biological parents.
If the Adoption is Approved, You Become the Children’s Legal Parent
The good news is that, if your petition for adoption is approved, you become the legal parents to the children you’ve grown to love. Nobody can come back and challenge the adoption later. They can’t say they finally got their act together and want their kids back. Your children and your family will finally have a sense of peace and permanence. And you can know that your children are legally part of your family.
Call Our Office and Talk to an Experienced Adoption Lawyer in Houston
If you’ve decided it’s time to file a petition to adopt your foster children, call our office. We can let you know what challenges you may face in the process. The major hurdle will be overcoming any demand made by the biological parents to get their kids back. Often times, these children enter the foster care system because their parents aren’t able to take care of them. When their parents are finally in a position where they think they can take care of their children again, they may challenge your petition for adoption. If this happens, you want an experienced adoption attorney in Houston by your side. Contact us and schedule your first appointment with our team of expert lawyers today.