Adopting in Texas is not an easy process. If you are either a birth parent considering to put a baby up for adoption or a hopeful adoptive family wanting to adopt, you will need several services and sources to get it done successfully.
This is why it is paramount for you to be fully prepared and not skip steps. The entire pre-placement, placement, and post-placement processes may take up to 7-10 months. Luckily, we, at the Adoption Alliance, have some important and useful tips for you to smoothly go over every step of the way and help reduce this time.
If you are looking to place a baby up for adoption in Texas instead, click here to to read more about the adoption process from that perspective.
Texas Adoption: Some Important Points About The Process
Before we get started on our step-by-step process on how to adopt a baby in Texas, it is crucial to check out some initial requirements.
- Any adult may adopt a child in Texas. In case you are wondering how old you have to be to adopt with the Adoption Alliance, this is 25 years of age.
- Not only married couples are eligible for adoption in Texas. However, a married individual cannot adopt by themselves; it has to be together with the spouse even if they are physically separated but not legally divorced.
- There are no specifications in Texas law about adoption and same-sex couples. You can adopt a baby through Adoption Alliance if you are LGBTQ parents.
- Biological parents must terminate their parental rights before the baby can be adopted.
- If a pregnant mother has an adoption plan for her newborn, she must wait 48 hours after the child’s birth to give consent. This consent must be signed by two witnesses and notarized by a competent professional.
- Texas Law also states that children 12 and above must also give their consent to be adopted.
- Only authorized adoption professionals may advertise adoption for the sake of meeting birth parents and prospective adoptive parents.
- Prospective birth mothers should not receive any payment in exchange for adoption as it is illegal. Adoptive parents may assist the birth mother in completing various expenses regarding her prenatal care and birth.
- If the birth mother changes her mind and decides to keep the newborn, the law does not require her to refund any prospective adoptive parents’ expenses on behalf of her pregnancy.
These are the basic adoption laws you will face during this process. Please keep in mind, however, that adoption in Texas is a rather complex legal process. There are some other legal steps and regulations that you will probably need to follow.
Let’s now get down to the very first steps for adopting a child in Texas.
Step #1: Have the Right Motivation
Why do you want to adopt a baby?
You need to understand parenthood is a difficult task, both physically, emotionally, and financially. Are you sure that, to you, the rewards that result from parenting outrun the mishaps and downs?
You have to be fully committed to the entire adoption process before the placement. In the end, the result will always be that you get to take care of and love a baby.
Couples must both have the same level of commitment to the process as well. If the motivation lies in infertility or loss of a baby, you will need to address those during Texas’s adoption process.
Step #2: Make sure you Understand your Options and Texas Adoption Requirements
Once you have answered all your questions and are still fully committed to adopting, the next step is to determine what type of adoption plan you are interested in. Besides the general requirements stated at the beginning of this article, each adoption plan has its prerequisites.
There are three main types of adoption plans in Texas:
In this type of adoption, most of the children eventually get back to their biological parents. This program is very rewarding, as you would add to your family and help a child in need.
Domestic infant adoption
The Adoption Alliance covers all your needs when it comes to domestic adoption. Domestic infant adoption refers to the private adoption of an newborn or baby born in the US that has been voluntarily put to adoption by their birth parents.
This type of adoption is not as common, as many countries have closed their borders to international parents, not to mention the process’s complexity and risk. This type of adoption is also the most expensive.
Step #3: Get in touch with the Adoption Alliance
There are so many ways in which the Adoption Alliance can help you to become a family. Now that you know what type of adoption you are looking for, it is time to contact a licensed adoption agency.
They will guide you through all the steps on how to adopt a baby. This is the most important step, so you will need to ask all the questions you might have. You can do your research as well, as all of it will be vital during this step.
We do not recommend you trying to go through the adoption process all by yourself. Not only will you have issues putting things together, but you can risk adoption fraud and money loss. There are ethical and legal standards that need to be met and can only be done with the expertise of a certified licensed adoption agency in Texas.
Step #4: Become an Active Waiting Family
The paperwork begins as you are put on the profile listings for mothers seeking to place their baby in a loving home. This is exciting as you being an active waiting family means that you meet all the legal requirements for adoption. Waiting families must also complete a Home Study where the state will note that you are emotionally stable and financially responsible. More on the Home Study below:
Adoption Alliance will help you contact a social worker to complete your home study. This is what we call the pre-placement step if you are an adopting parent. You must be prepared for this but should never try to stage it.
A home study usually takes some time, so you want to be prepared ahead of time. Keep reading to learn how to stay on top of things.
You need to demonstrate that your household is a right home for a baby. Your level of preparation for this step will help speed up the adoption process.
The following information must go into the home study:
- Other important people in the applicant’s life
- Motivation to adopt
- Information on relatives
- Information on upbringing, important events, life choices, and experiences
- Family environment
- Applicant’s relationship with their neighbors
- Expectations for the adopted baby
- Health history of the applicants
- Physical capabilities of the applicants
- Parenting and family integration of the baby
- Financial conditions, which include childcare plans for the baby if needed
The social worker will also make a clearance of the applicant’s criminal record and elaborate a summary and write recommendations.
Take note of the documents you will have to create, fill-in, or process:
- Autobiographical statement – this refers to the story of your life, so be confident and don’t let that intimidate you.
- Child abuse and criminal clearances – Some minor criminal records will still allow you to adopt, but not those of child abuse.
- Health statements – Depending on the agency, prospective parents will require a physical examination or mainly a general biopsy. Some will also need an emotional assessment.
- Income statement – You will be asked for your paycheck stubs, an income tax form (1040 or 1040 EZ), or a copy of a W-4 form. Other information will be required, but you just need to demonstrate that you are financially capable, not rich.
- References – Find three or four individuals to be references to you. These can be an employer, a former teacher, a close friend, your neighbor, your minister, or a co-worker.
It is so rewarding to know that you have filled up all the forms and questionnaires and just waiting for a prospective birth mother. All you need now is some patience and to keep your hopes up. There is a baby out there waiting to be loved and brought into your home.
Finalizing Adoption in Texas
Once you have been matched with a baby for placement, you will go to your local district county court for the adoption finalization process.
You have questions, and we have answers. Call us today at (800) 626-4324 and request free information on how to get started with us. This is a life-changing experience, and we will work hard to make it the best one of its kind.