Deciding to add to your family through adoption can be an exciting decision. Still, there are many factors to consider, such as pricing, the type of adoption, and requirements for adoption in Texas. Our team has helped countless families through this process before, and we’re here to guide you too. Our job is to provide you with the assistance you need to get through the arduous paperwork, ensure that you understand the law, present all your options, and navigate any issues that may arise.
Let’s take a look at the essential information you should know before adopting.
Texas Requirements for Adoption
Prospective adoptive parents must be:
At least 21 years old
Financially stable and able to care for themselves and the child
Mature and responsible
In possession of a healthy lifestyle
Able to provide reliable, trustworthy references
Able to offer proof of marriage, or a divorce, if necessary
In possession of a completed, approved home study
Willing to give both child abuse checks and criminal background checks on all adults who are living in the household
If you’ve decided adoption is the right decision for you and meet all of the requirements, you can begin the process.
Open vs. Closed Adoptions
If you are unfamiliar with adoptions, you may not know that there are open and closed adoptions. It used to be that almost all adoptions were closed, meaning the identities of the adopted child’s biological parents were hidden, sealed, and anonymous. However, this can have a psychologically damaging effect on the child. For this reason and others, far more open adoptions take place. This allows for the biological mother the option to maintain contact with their child.
Open adoptions are becoming increasingly popular due to biological parents wishing to stay in touch with the adoptive parents. By doing so, they are able to receive forms of communication by way of letters, pictures, emails, and sometimes in-person visits. The amount of contact is usually determined by how comfortable the birth parents are. This form of adoption can be either mediated through an adoption agency, or done by the adoptive parents and birth parents. There are many benefits to having an open adoption including:
- The birth mother can heal from the pain of losing her child to adoption
- The child can grow up and learn about her parents/heritage
- The child can learn to accept that they are adopted much easier
- Adoptive parents can ask the birth parents about their medical history to parallel it with the child
Cost of Adoption in Texas
The cost of adoption will vary depending on the type you choose and many other factors, but be prepared to set aside a good amount of money. You will have to pay for expenses such as:
Counseling services for the Birth Mother
Medical bills for the Birth Mother and child
Other necessary and reasonable living expenses of the Birth Mother
Different Types of Adoption
With so many adoption types, it isn’t easy to know where to start. It’s important to ask questions and do research to help you make thoughtful decisions. For a basic understanding of each type of adoption, take a look at some of the most common options.
There are public and private agencies that place children with prospective adoptive parents. Public adoption agencies generally handle children who are wards of the state, often because they’ve been abandoned, orphaned, or abused.
Private adoption agencies are often run by charities and social service organizations. They typically place children brought to the agency by parents or expectant parents seeking to give their child up for adoption.
This is one of the most complicated of all the types of adoption. Since you are dealing with a foreign country citizen, you must follow both your state’s laws and the host country’s.There’s also the matter of obtaining an immigrant visa for the child.
Some adoptions bypass agencies altogether. These are known as independent adoptions, which involve a direct arrangement between the birth mother and adoptive parents. It’s wise to hire an attorney to handle the paperwork to ensure nothing is missed.
Blended families are common across households in the United States. Sometimes, parents will adopt their stepchildren, and it’s a beautiful way to create bonds among families. It still requires a fair amount of legal work, attorneys, and the biological parent’s consent.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of the different types of adoption. It’s in your best interest to speak to an attorney who can help you choose the best method for your family’s needs and guide you through the process.
If you are ready to begin the next steps of the adoption process, our San Antonio family lawyers are here to extend their expertise. Reach out to us today by calling us at (210) 405-8315.