You have a Texas-sized heart and are ready to expand your family through the process of adoption! Although you may have your heart set on a particular way to go about the adoption process, here are three types of adoption that you should consider when you decide to continuing to grow your family.
Children in foster care are those whose birthparents cannot care for them and parental rights have been terminated. The Texas foster care system places children in temporary safe and loving homes, where they can receive the care of a stable and supportive foster family while they wait for a permanent adoption.
Texas is always in need of foster families! In January 2019 there were 29,927 children in foster care in Texas and 3,378 children waiting for adoptive families. Most children waiting for adoption in Texas are over the age of 10.
If you feel caring for a foster child may be an option for you and your family, reach out to the Department of Family and Protective Services here to find out how to earn your certification and become a foster parent.
This is a form of adoption where a child will be placed in your home with you and your family to foster but with the expectation that if they become legally adoptable, they will be adopted by you. If you think you may be interested in adopting a child after you’ve become their foster parent, planning to foster to adopt in Texas may be the right path for you!
Most Texas foster care children do not become eligible for adoption, but if they do, priority when choosing adoptive parents is first offered to biological family members, and then to his or her foster parents. If you do not feel that the possibility of reunification between the foster child and their birth parents aligns with what you are looking for in your family dynamic, fostering to adopt may not be for you. Consider looking into infant adoption.
There are more people pursuing infant adoption than there are infants available to be adopted and several families remain on waiting lists for months to even years. Each state also has different requirements for those wishing to adopt. According to The Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas, prospective adoptive parents can be either single or married and must:
Be at least 21 years old
Be financially stable
Be responsible and mature
Complete an application to adopt
Share background and lifestyle information
Provide proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable)
Have a completed home study
Submit to a criminal background and child abuse checks on all adults living in the household
For out-of-state couples hoping to adopt in Texas, the state requires that the criminal check be performed in Texas. This is a security measure put into place to ensure that every couple adopting a Texan child has completed the same requirements. Many of these security measures were put into place to eliminate child trafficking across state lines and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children being adopted in the state.
Infant adoption can also be an expensive route. The main costs comes when preparing for adoption, such as fees associated with licensure, FBI fingerprints and potential costly updates to your home (fire extinguishers, medication lock boxes, child proofing, etc.).
Each private Child Placing Agency operates differently and may require more or less. In addition to these upfront costs, there are certain legal fees necessary for consummation of adoption. These fees could be negligible if the child being adopted qualifies for adoption assistance or grants.
While these are only three avenues of adoption for you to explore, you should invest time in researching what adoption path is best for you and your family. Having a family lawyer can help you find an adoption agency that fits your needs.
To find out more about adopting and the process, get in touch with a trusted family lawyer today. C.Y. Lee Legal Group is here to help families grow their family, and follow all guidelines, processes and restrictions.