In various family law disputes, grandparents may want to seek custody of their grandchildren. If you're a grandparent who wants custody, understanding how to pursue it can help you obtain the best outcome in your family law dispute.
To schedule a consultation with our attorneys for your case, contact us online or via phone at (817) 497-8148.
Grandparent Adoption When a Child Is Parent-less
In some situations, grandparents are asked to take on a child after a tragedy befalls a family, such as the death of both the child's parents.
In wills, people often designate an individual (or individuals) whom they would like to have look over their child(ren) in the event they pass away unexpectedly. Many parents designate grandparents as potential guardians for their children in the event of an untimely death.
Even if grandparents are named in a parental will as guardians, they will not automatically gain parental rights. The state will still take certain measures, such as instigating a home study, to ensure that the grandparents have the requisite skills, capacity, and environment to look after the child(ren) in question.
However, if the court does approve of grandparents for guardianship, it could open up a pathway to potential adoption.
Grandparent Adoption When Parents Are Still Alive
To adopt a child, that child's current parents must have their parental rights terminated.
As a result, grandparent adoptions often occur in the context of Child Protective Services (CPS) investigations, where a child's parents are found to be engaging in domestic abuse or neglect. If a court revokes parental rights for a child's current parents, that child's grandparents may be able to step in and adopt them.
In other cases, parents may simply find caring for their child(ren) untenable, and voluntarily relinquish their parental rights. In this event, adoption should be a simple affair for the grandparents.
In yet other circumstances, grandparents who wish to adopt a child may need to file a court case for adoption. If a court assesses a parent's behavior and deems them unfit as a caregiver, the court may revoke their parental rights, opening up the pathway to adoption for the grandparents.
Regardless, the state will always take certain measures to ensure adoption is in a child's best interests before acquiescing to it. This usually involves the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) conducting a home study to ensure the grandparents are adequately equipped to care for and raise a child.
Additionally, depending on the child's age, they may have to consent to the adoption. There will also be a final court hearing, where a judge can give a final evaluation as to whether adoption is truly in the child's best interests.
Once all is said and done, if the judge rules in the grandparents' favor, they will be able to adopt a child and gain parental rights.
At The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, we'll help you navigate your grandparent adoption case. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (817) 497-8148.