TEXAS LAWYER FOCUSED ON BUILDING FAMILIES
Adopting a child brings happiness to families, but a biological parent’s change of heart or an immigration setback can turn a joyous occasion into a stressful ordeal. At Law Office of Crystal L. Gayden in Fort Worth, I have more than 7 years of experience handling the complex legal procedures and frustrating red tape of the adoption process for clients throughout North Central Texas. If you’re looking to add a child to your family, I’m ready to guide you through the process so you can focus on your new family member.
In my Fort Worth practice, I help clients with the following areas of adoption:
- Termination of parental rights
- Paternity registry
- Open adoptions
- Closed adoptions
- Private adoptions
- Domestic adoptions
- International adoptions
- Stepparent adoptions
As your family law attorney, I provide reliable counsel throughout the adoption process.
CAREFUL APPROACH TO THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
Stories abound about birth parents challenging an adoption after it is finalized. These well-publicized news accounts reflect a real fear for adoptive parents. The suffering associated with a badly handled adoption affects everybody involved — the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the children who are caught in the middle. I work to ensure that both the birth and adoptive parents’ rights are respected so that the end result is a final adoption that cannot be challenged. I substantiate that the birth parents consent to the adoption freely and voluntarily to avoid claims of fraud, duress and coercion that can be grounds for restoring a birth parent’s rights.
ADDRESSING A BIOLOGICAL FATHER’S RESISTANCE TO AN ADOPTION
The biological father has the same parental rights as the biological mother, especially if he is named in the state’s putative father registry and has provided support for the child. Fathers who are active in their children’s lives are generally opposed to adoption, whereas uninterested fathers are usually content to surrender parental rights voluntarily to be free from support obligations. When a father resists the idea of adoption, a court might terminate the father’s parental rights if the father is an unfit parent and severing the parent-child relationship is in the best interests of the child. I take all necessary steps to identify fathers and obtain their consent, or, when necessary and proper, litigate the matter of the father’s fitness.
EXPERIENCE WITH VARIOUS TYPES OF DOMESTIC ADOPTION
An open adoption agreement permits the biological family to maintain a relationship with the child. The terms of the agreement are established by written contract and can include any level of involvement ranging from regular visits to yearly snapshots exchanged by mail. A closed adoption protects the identity of the biological parents and the child but may include disclosure of essential information such as the child’s heritage and medical history. Whichever type of adoption you choose, I meticulously draft a contract that reflects the terms of your adoption.
CAPABLE ASSISTANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS
International adoptions present unique challenges. Also called intercountry adoptions, the process involves a complex web of laws and policies, including those of Texas, the United States, U.S. Immigration, the child’s country of birth and the Hague Adoption Convention. I remain by your side through every step to avoid potential problems and smooth the process. My goal is to help you bring your child home as soon as legally possible.