Texas Adoption Guide

A guide to adoption in Texas.

Kylee Hooper February 25, 2016

Welcome, prospective adoptive parents! This guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption in Texas. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Texas.

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in Texas, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6) foster adoption (Slide 20),  international adoption (Slide 28), and stepparent adoption (Slide 32). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 35).

Are you interested growing your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with an adoption professional who can answer your questions.

 

Please note:
1. Please note:

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

 Did You Know?
2. Did You Know?

More wool comes from the state of Texas than from any other state in the United States.
Source

Adoption in Texas at a Glance 
3. Adoption in Texas at a Glance 

Kids in foster care available for adoption in 2012: 18,166     
Foster adoptions International adoptions completed in 2012: 616      
    

Can I Adopt in Texas?
4. Can I Adopt in Texas?

Adoption requirements in the state of Texas are as follows:

Age: There are no age requirements
Marital Status:  Can be single or married    
Finances:  Must be financially able to support a child    
Housing:  Must have safe housing and be willing to do a home study    
Personality:  Must be willing to commit to a child        
DISQUALIFYING CRIMES:  In this state, you may not adopt if you have been convicted of any of the following:
There is not a list of crimes that will disqualify you from adopting, but adoptive parents must pass a home study, and the judge must find that the adoption is in the child's best interest.

SOURCE:  Texas Adoption Resource Exchange and Child Welfare Information Gateway

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our forums. You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in Texas
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in Texas

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in Texas.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

You can use an adoption agency or an adoption attorney to help you adopt in the state of Texas.

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual or organization that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee. Only agencies licensed in the State of Texas can place children for adoption.

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in Texas here.

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

Regardless of whether you complete your adoption, you will need to complete an adoption home study.

Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on slide four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word   
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word  

You can only advertise through an adoption agency in Texas.      

One of the most important things you can do while waiting for an adoption match is to let everyone know about your hope to adopt. Many adoption connections are made through word-of-mouth referrals.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles

If advertising is allowed in your state, creating a profile on Adoption.com Parent Profiles allows you to easily share your story with those considering placing their child for adoption. Features like videos and photos, posts, Pinterest-like favorites, and recommendations and endorsements make it easy to create a profile as unique as you are, increasing the likelihood that you will stand out and connect with that right person.

Rich communication options like video chat and instant messaging make connecting easy. A mobile-responsive design means that you will never be out of reach.
What’s more, Adoption.com receives over 650,000 monthly visits, which means your profile will receive unparalleled exposure. You can even view and monitor your progress through a detailed statistics page.

Ready to get started? Click here.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators

Adoption Navigators provides you with quality expertise in sharing your dream of adopting. We provide unparalleled adoption marketing and one-on-one coaching to beautifully show expectant parents who you are and tell your story. With Adoption Navigators you receive premier advertising exposure on Adoption.com, assistance building your profile and creating a video, and expanded reach through social media and search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Adoption.com has more than 16 years of experience helping families connect with potential birth parents.

Let us help you increase your exposure to potential birth parents and decrease your adoption wait time.

Click here to get started.

Creating a listing on Adoption.com Parent Profiles is an excellent way to connect with potential birth parents across the country. If you want to maximize your exposure to potential birth parents and receive personalized coaching and support, consider using Adoption Navigators. Coordinate these services with your adoption professional.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
13. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

Both the birth mother and the presumed/legal father must sign the relinquishment of parental rights form. They must sign after the child is at least 48 hours old and must be free from any drugs or anesthetic. They must sign voluntarily.

Source

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights   
14. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights  

Texas has a registry for putative fathers. If you live in Texas, and think you have fathered a child, you must register before your child is 31 days old in order notice of the adoption proceedings.
    

Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
15. Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Only an agency may pay for living expenses. In a non-agency adoption, you can only pay for the birth parent's counseling, legal, and medical expenses.


Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements   
16. Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements  

Post adoption contact agreements outline how much contact a child will have with his/her birth parents after adoption. The welfare of the child is the highest priority with all post adoption contact agreements.

These agreements are to be made by the birth parents and the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

Agreements are not legally enforced, but can be in certain situations after efforts of good will and mediation have been completed.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization 	  
17. Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization  

You can finalize your adoption 6 months after placements or earlier if waved by the court. If you are an out-of-state resident adopting a child from Texas, you can finalize out-of-state.

Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Texas from Out-of-State
18. Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Texas from Out-of-State

With private (usually domestic infant) adoptions, it is always possible to adopt a child within Texas, even if you live in a different state.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.

Foster Adoption in Texas   
19. Foster Adoption in Texas   

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in Texas.

Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Texas
20. Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Texas

There are thousands of children who are in foster care and are looking for a permanent, adoptive home.
    
Texas Photolisting

Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help   
21. Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help  

You can complete a foster adoption either through a private agency that is licensed to provide foster care services or directly through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services       

To find Adoption Agencies in Texas and to read reviews, check out Adoption.com’s Reviews page for Texas.

You will still need to complete a home study as part of this process.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System 	  
22. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System  

The requirements for becoming part of the foster care system will help prepare you to receive children who have been abused or neglected. You can adopt from foster care by completing the necessary training.

"Legal risk" placements, or children whose parents have not relinquished parental rights, can be placed in your home. Often, these children are no longer able to return home and they may become legally free while in your care.      

Finalization 	  
23. Finalization  

There is an ambiguity in the law regarding the timing of foster parent's ability to petition for adoption, so be sure to work closely with your agency so that you will know when you can adopt.

Post Adoption Contact Agreements   
24. Post Adoption Contact Agreements  

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that can be entered into by adoptive and birth families. In Texas, you need to involve the DFPS as well. The agreement outlines details about how much contact the birth and adoptive families will have after the adoption is finalized.

In instances in which the child’s biological parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, the well-being of the child needs to be first and foremost in everyone’s minds if a post-adoption contact agreement is created. Caseworkers and therapists should be consulted in making decisions about contact after adoption.

Adoption Assistance   
25. Adoption Assistance  

You can receive adoption assistance when you adopt a child who is considered to have special needs These needs include age, if the child is part of a sibling group, or if the child has disabilities.

International Adoption in Texas
26. International Adoption in Texas

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in Texas.

International Adoption - Photolisting
27. International Adoption - Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting. There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption - Get Professional Help
28. International Adoption - Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider. Click here to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in Texas.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements
29. International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements

Statement about finalizing international adoptions in your states, along with other paperwork requirements.    

You will also need to request a U.S. birth certificate for your child.

Read more about post-adoption requirements here.

Stepparent Adoption in Texas
30. Stepparent Adoption in Texas

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in Texas.

Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights
31. Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt. He/she can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights OR if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt
32. Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Adoption Resources   
33. Adoption Resources  

Forums        

Texas Wiki      

Parent Profiles for Texas

Adoption Stories

author image

Kylee Hooper

Kylee Hooper is not quite a mother, but she adores babies, and hopes to be able to either foster or adopt someday. When she isn't writing, reading, or editing; she is normally playing her harp or creating an adventure.


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