Success Story: Making it Official

Ernest and Tillie with Judge Martha Tanner after the adoption was granted.

Ernest had entered the foster care system when he was six years old. He was adopted, but unfortunate circumstances led to him being put back into the system when he was 16.  It was then that he met Tillie.

Tillie was Ernest’s case manager and in charge of getting him the help he needed to be safe and taken care of while in foster care. During that time, the two formed a strong relationship.

When Tillie left her job, she knew she wanted to remain a part of Ernest’s life in a very special way – she wanted to adopt him.

When Ernest turned 18 and aged out of foster care, he went to live with Tillie as her son. He had his name legally changed, but the two still wanted to make the adoption legal. So they turned to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Texas Foster Youth Justice Project for help.

TRLA helped Tillie take the steps needed to legally adopt Ernest.  At the end of November, TRLA accompanied Tillie and Ernest to a court hearing where they asked a judge to grant an adult adoption. After showing the judge that both Tillie and Ernest wanted the adoption to go through and that Tillie was already providing a stable and suitable home, the judge agreed and the adoption was granted.


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