Frequently Asked Adoption Questions | The Adoption Alliance

Frequently Asked Adoption Questions

Why types of adoption do you do?

All of our adoptions are domestic and the majority are semi-open. Although, we can do fully open adoptions if both parties agree to it. The Adoption Alliance’s goal is to assist all parties of an adoption plan with the best services to meeting everyone’s needs.

Is there an age requirement for adoptive parents?

Adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old.  Both adoptive parents must be age 50 or younger at the time of application.

Can we select a gender preference?

The agency no longer allows adoptive families to select a gender preference.

Can a single parent or gay parent adopt?

Non-traditional families can adopt through our Agency.

How long is the average wait to adopt a child?

The average wait from the time the adoptive parents are approved as Parents in Waiting is approximately 7-10 months. However, the wait can be shorter or longer, as it is the birth mother who selects the adoptive family for her child. An adoptive family may positively affect their waiting period by being flexible and open to different situations; such as race of child, prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs, etc. Please discuss the situations you may be comfortable with.

How many families are waiting for a match at this time?

Our agency typically has 30-35 families waiting to be matched.  While families are being approved, others are being matched or receiving a placement.  Therefore, the number of those waiting for a match remains rather consistent.

What is the application fee?

We are currently waiving our application fee.

What is your agency fee?

The total fee is paid in three installments. Please contact us to request an application packet in order to receive detailed agency fee information.

Can adoptive parents create their own profile?  

No. The agency has specific guidelines for our profiles.  The agency’s Profile Specialist will create a beautiful profile with your input.   This service is included as a part of the agency fee.

Is the home study included in the agency fee?  

No.  The home study is a separate cost.

Will the agency accept a home study from another home study provider?  

The home study must be reviewed by the agency to make sure it addresses all Texas requirements.  If not, a brief addendum or home study update may be required. Some states require for a home study to be completed by a licensed agency versus a private social worker.

How long is the Home Study valid in Texas?

In Texas, the home study must be updated every twelve months from the date of the last home visit.

Does your agency have any special requirements regarding adoption education?

The State of Texas regulations require adoptive parents to receive "adoption education". The agency will provide guidance regarding quarterly adoption education once an adoptive family has been approved as Parents in Waiting.

What happens after we are approved as Parents in Waiting?

You will receive an approval letter via email and a request for the non-refundable Parents in Waiting Fee. Once the agency receives funds, a member of the agency staff will conduct an introduction call with you. At this time your profile will be added to our website and hard copies of your profile are prepared for presentation to birth parents. All active Adoptive Parents in Waiting will begin receiving emails when the agency has a birth mother to match with a waiting family. The birth mother’s essential information will be provided within the email and her de-identified Genetic, Social & Medical History form will be attached. The case details may not match the preferences selected in your Adoptive Parent Preference form.  However, each case will be presented as an opportunity to have your profile considered. We understand that some of our clients’ preferences can change in time and with additional research. Therefore, we want to give our families the ability to consider each case. Clients are asked not to contact the caseworker to obtain further details as all pertinent information will be provided in the email. The information presented is only for Adoption Alliance Families in Waiting. Adoptive parents will have a given time frame (typically 24 hours or less) to reply to the email to indicate that they would like to have their profile presented in the given situation. This time should be used to conduct research and determine if you have a comfort level committing to the case if selected. There is no need to reply regarding cases which you are not interested in having your profile presented. Adoptive parents should check their email regularly due to the necessary short timeframe of a response.  Also, please note that your profile may not be presented if your profile does not match the birth mother’s preferences. The family who is selected by the birth mother will be contacted by the agency caseworker.

What information is provided to adoptive parents upon selection by a birth mother?

The adoptive parents will receive all available information regarding the case. This may include the birth parent(s) Genetic, Social & Medical History form(s), prenatal records if applicable and available and an Estimate of Expenses pertaining specifically to the case presented.  A photo of the birth mother may or may not be available and should not be expected in order to make a decision regarding the case.Adoptive parents are given 24 hours to make a commitment to the case or the agency must contact the birth parents’ second choice for an adoptive family. In most cases, prenatal records may not be immediately available as the agency must request the records.  Obtaining medical records typically takes several weeks.  If an adoptive family commits to a case and later decides not to proceed with the case, they are responsible for the birth mother expenses which have been disbursed up to that point unless the agency is able to rematch the case with another family.

Are adoptive parents able to talk to and meet the birth parents?

In most cases, the birth parents do want to talk to the adoptive parents during the pregnancy, as well as meet them. The agency primarily does "semi-open" adoptions, which means that identifying information is not shared with the birth parents. (In many cases this means that the birth parents will know the adoptive parents’ first names and the State in which they reside, but will not know their last names or the city in which they reside.) Semi-open adoptions do not include visits between the birth parents and child once the child has been placed in the adoptive parents' home. Once the child is placed with the adoptive parents, the adoptive parents send pictures and letters for the birth parents through the agency. This is done once per month for the first six months and annually on the child's birth date through 18 years of age.

Will the birth parents receive adoption related counseling?

The birth parents will receive adoption related counseling during the adoption process. It remains available to them during their postpartum period as well.  

Will the adoptive parents receive prenatal records during the pregnancy?

The agency will request prenatal records and forward them to the adoptive parents. It can take several weeks to obtain medical records once they have been requested.

Does the agency do a drug screen on the birth mother?

The agency will request that the birth mother’s OB order a tox screen.  However, we cannot guarantee that the doctor will comply with our request. Unless there is reason to believe the birth mother is using drugs during the pregnancy, only one drug screen is requested. Drug screen results are typically not available at the time the case is presented to the adoptive parents as the agency must request the tox screen.

Do most of the birth mothers have Medicaid?

Most of the birth mothers are eligible for Medicaid. The agency will assist them with this as much as possible. If the birth mother does not obtain Medicaid, the adoptive parents are responsible for all the medical expenses associated with their case.

What are the birth parent relinquishment laws in Texas?

The birth mother cannot sign a relinquishment document until 48 hours after the birth in Texas. An unmarried birth father can sign prior to the birth, but his parental rights cannot be terminated until after the birth. A husband must also wait until 48 hours after the birth to sign a relinquishment document in the State of Texas. Once the relinquishment document is signed, it is irrevocable.

What is the adoption law related to absent birth fathers in your state?

We must address a birth father's parental rights; even if the birth father is "unknown".  Specific methods will be addressed on a case by case basis. It is very common that few details are known regarding the birth father of the child.  Adoptive families should be aware of this and have a comfort level with this type of circumstance.

What if the birth parents decide to parent before the relinquishment is signed?

The adoptive parents are responsible for the funds which have already been expended pertaining to their match. The agency cannot legally make the birth parents repay any of the support they had been given. The adoptive parents’ profile will be made available for consideration for potential new case opportunities. Also the Rematch Fee of $1,000 is deducted from your account to cover the time spent on that particular case. However, the balance of the agency fee and any other remaining funds are held on account and are transferred to your next case with the agency.

What if the adoptive parents should walk from an adoption case, are funds refundable?

If you decided not to proceed with a case once you had made a commitment, you are responsible for all birth parent support expended to that point unless we are able to rematch the case and the birth mother proceeds with the adoption plan. Also, the rematch fee of $1,000 is deducted from your account to cover the time spent on that particular case. However, the balance of the agency fee and any other remaining funds on account are transferred to your next case with the agency.

What happens if we decide not to adopt through your agency and we have already retained you?  What will we lose?

Any agency fee that has already been paid at the time of your decision, because all fees are non-refundable once paid. Also, all BM assistance which had been paid is non-refundable.

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