Our Adoption Process
Our Adoption Process
- Information: Review agency information and application packet. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Click here to request an Adoption Application.
- Application: Complete The Adoption Alliance application and all supporting documents which were included in the information packet (Adoptive Parent Agreement, Fee Schedule, etc.). Send the application, supporting agency documents, and the $250 non-refundable application fee to our office in San Antonio. You will be contacted upon receipt of your documents.
- Texas Background Check: We will review your agency application and supporting documents and submit a Texas Online Background Check on your behalf. All adoptive applicants, regardless of their State of residence, must obtain Texas background clearances. Once the online background check has been submitted, we will contact you regarding the next step. For Texas families, we will email instructions for scheduling an appointment for electronic fingerprinting.
- Acceptance as clients: Once the agency application has been approved and State of Texas Background Checks have been completed, the adoptive parents will be notified regarding their acceptance as clients. The non-refundable Client Acceptance Fee is due at this time.
- Home Study: You should begin the home study process if you have not already done so. If you need a referral for a social worker in your area, we can assist you. Your social worker will schedule an appointment with you to conduct a home visit, assist you with obtaining background clearances in your home state (including FBI clearances) and prepare your home study. You will be required to submit letters of reference and medical reports for all household members to your social worker. (We will need a copy of these for our file as well.) If your social worker does not have reference and medical forms, we can provide those to you. For clients who reside in New York, we will assist you with obtaining your New York clearances. For Texas residents, we will assist you with obtaining your Texas clearances.
- Adoptive Parent Profile: Once your Client Acceptance Fee is received by the agency, our Profile Specialist will contact you to let you know what is needed to get started on your profile. Your profile is a vital marketing tool in the adoption process and we want our families to have the best profiles possible. Our profile service includes the professional creation of your profile in digital format, printing and binding of 10 laminated hard copies and adding the profile to our website.
- Approval as “Parents in Waiting”: Once the agency has approved your home study, all supporting documents and completed profile, we will send you an approval letter via email. At that time, we will request the non-refundable Parents in Waiting Fee.
- Receipt of Parents in Waiting Fee: Once the agency has received your Parents in Waiting Fee, an agency staff member will contact you for an introduction call. At this time, your profile will be added to our website and laminated hard copies of your profile will be prepared. You will begin receiving emails from our Director of Case Management regarding possible case opportunities as they become available. Please remember that the birth parents select the adoptive parents for their child; the agency does not make the selection unless directed to do so by the birth parents.
- “The Wait”: The average “wait time” once you have been approved is roughly 7 to 10 months, but placement can occur much sooner, so be prepared at any time after approval. Waiting is truly the hardest part of the process, but it is worth it in the end! It is the adoptive parents’ responsibility to make sure their home study is updated annually and that their home state background clearances are updated and current at all times. We cannot offer a case opportunity to an adoptive family who is not paperwork ready.
- Selection: You will be contacted by an agency caseworker when you are selected by a birth family. You will be provided with all available information regarding the case. This may include the Genetic, Social & Medical History of the Birth Parent(s), available prenatal records for the case. You will be required to sign and return a commitment letter indicating if you would like to proceed with the case. You must return the commitment letter within a specified time period; typically within 24 hours or less. The balance of the Agency Fee (minus your deposits) will be due in full at this time.
- “The Match”: The agency caseworker will assist you throughout the remaining adoption process and maintain contact with you regarding pertinent case details. She will help arrange a phone call and/or meeting with the birth parent(s) if applicable. The caseworker will also maintain contact with the birth parent(s) on a weekly basis. You will receive updated prenatal records as we receive them. You will be asked to review the records and sign an acknowledgement receipt.
- Delivery: The birth parent(s) may or may not request for the adoptive parents to be present for the birth. In most cases, the adoptive parents should plan to be present at the hospital as soon as possible after the birth as most birth mothers request this. An agency staff member is not present for the birth but will follow-up with the birth mother after delivery and coordinate with the hospital social worker.
- Relinquishment/Placement: The agency caseworker will meet with the birth mother prior to relinquishment and schedule a time for relinquishment and placement. In Texas the birth mother cannot sign a relinquishment until 48 hours after the birth of the child. Once the relinquishment is signed, the caseworker will complete placement paperwork with the adoptive family immediately thereafter. Discharge of the infant to the agency and/or adoptive parents follows.
- Interstate Compact: The adoptive parents must remain in the baby’s birth State until they receive Interstate Compact approval to return home with the child. The ICPC process is typically 7-10 business days. The agency has no control over this process.
- Post-Placement: Texas law requires a 6 month supervisory period before an adoption can be finalized. The adoptive parents must have post-placement visits in their home following placement. You will need to schedule these with the social worker who completed your home study. The social worker must send the post-placement reports to our agency in a timely manner. The adoptive parents must also send 6 monthly reports to The Adoption Alliance during the post-placement supervisory period. You will send photos of the child and progress reports, which will be forwarded to the birth parents (if requested by the birth parents). You are also required to send pediatrician reports during this time. Further details can be located in your copy of the placement paperwork.
- Finalization: Once The Adoption Alliance has received the post-placement visit reports from your social worker, the 2 pediatric reports and the 6 monthly reports from you, your file will be prepared for finalization. All finalizations are done by written deposition and you will not appear in person. You will receive the certified copies of the adoption decree once the judge has signed them. The agency will apply for the amended birth certificate on your behalf and will send to you once received. It takes approximately 16-20 weeks for it to be received. The agency will send you the amended birth certificate and then you can apply for the baby’s social security number.