You should consult with an attorney about the pros and cons of the various options available to you. I am not listing any because you need a face to face conversation.
This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
You do need to find an attorney with the Avvo Find a Lawyer tool. Normally step-parents have no parents rights. However, you need to discuss this with a local attorney
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.
There are a lot of options. Adoption will give him the most rights and assure that he will have standing to sue for custodial rights of something happens to you.
Is there a current order about the child? If so, you can file a Motion to Modify it to become Joint Managing Conservators. The only other person entitled to notice would be the child's father who is deceased. So you get that granted pretty easily. If there is no prior order, file an Original Sut Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR).
Whether step parent adoption is expensive or not depends upon the attorney you get. Step parent adoptions are the least involved of all adoptions, and with the father being deceased there are that many less steps that need to be taken. Some things for you to think about: Are you ready to have husband have an equal say and rights to your child? Even if you divorce he will still be her legal co-equal parent. Is there any issue with cutting off her extended family from her father's side? How would that work? I've never had this issue come up. If you would rather have husband adopt, call attorneys who practice in San Antonio and ask their fees. Because the father is deceased, a projected total cost would be easier to make in this case, than in cases where the oher party may contest the relief you are requesting and drive up the attorney fees.
This does not establish an attorney/client relationship
Actually step-parent adoption is one of the least expensive and most enjoyable parts of practicing family law. If your husband-to-be is willing to adopt your daughter, it will make the wedding even more meaningful for her since she will know that he wants her as part of his family.
In your case, step-parent adoption will not be lengthy nor expensive. The only other person is now deceased.
There are excellent and reasonably priced family law attorneys in San Antonio.
I wish the three of you the very best!
Any communication through the AVVO site with Sherrie Travers or any individual member of the firm, Travers & Travers, does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. Any information given by Sherrie Travers or by any individual member of the firm through the AVVO site is general information and should not be relied on as legal advice. This answer is based upon limited information and is not intended to be conclusive in your circumstances as there may be other factors that might change or alter the advice given herein. Confidential or time-sensitive information should be conducted in person with an attorney.