With each of the United States having its own set of adoption laws, it can be difficult to interpret everything.
In this edition of Lifetime’s blog series on adoption law, we’ll share about Texas adoption laws. If you are a resident of Texas and are prospective adoptive parents, here are some important details about Texas adoption laws, as well as some general information to keep in mind.
Who is eligible to adopt a child in Texas?
Texas adoption laws state that either single people or married couples can adopt a child in Texas as long as they are at least 21 years old and meet some specific criteria. For example, they must prove that they are financially stable and must provide proof of marriage or divorce, in addition to completing a home study.
All adults that live in the house — including the potential adoptive parents — must pass criminal background checks and child abuse checks. References will be required, and an application to adopt must be submitted.
Undergoing these specific security measures helps ensure the safety of any child that is being adopted in the state.
Who can you adopt in Texas?
Children 12 years of age and older must provide consent to be adopted. In addition, before a child can be adopted in Texas, a minor’s parents will need to terminate parental rights to the child.
For example, if an expectant mother or the birth parents choose adoption for the child, they would voluntarily terminate their parental rights by placing the child with an adoption agency.
Texas requires that she wait at least 48 hours after she gives birth to provide her consent. Birth fathers can give their adoption consent before the child is born.
After a child is placed with the adoptive family, the state of Texas requires a series of post-placement visits before the adoption is officially finalized. Typically, Texas adoption laws require five visits with parent and child, but this may change depending on some different factors.
During these visits, the social worker will observe family interactions, look at the overall home environment, and discuss any other details related to how the child is adjusting to your home.
The goal of these visits is to determine how well the adjustment period is going and if the child’s needs are being met. Of course, the child’s health and well-being are always the first priority.
What expenses are involved in a Texas adoption?
Adopting a child comes with a financial responsibility. However, while adoption requires some planning and saving, it does not have to be cost-prohibitive.
We work with a variety of different families and individuals that come from all career backgrounds and walks of life. These people have committed to welcoming a child into their home through adoption and have planned to finance that decision.
There are fees through the adoption agency, and there may be other fees such as traveling, application fees, other expenses related to medical care, or attorney fees to assure you’re following Texas adoption laws. In general, a domestic newborn adoption can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.
What is the adoption process like?
First, determine the type of adoption you want. Do you want to adopt a newborn, a toddler, or a school-age child? Maybe you want to adopt siblings.
There are different adoption scenarios available in Texas. Once you determine the best option for your family, our attentive adoption coordinators will help get the process started.
But it’s important to remember that adoption is often a long process that requires a lot of patience. Sometimes it will take months, or even years, to match the right birth mother and child with your family.
Once you have filled out the appropriate documentation to adopt, you will create your adoptive family profile. Expectant mothers will be able to look through your family profile, and if they want to meet you, you can set up a time to meet and talk.
This process helps establish a connection so she can determine if she wants to place her child with your family. Getting to know each other will help both parties decide if it will be a good fit.
Adopting a child is a life-changing decision. If you are ready to start the adoption process in Texas, our experienced and caring team at Lifetime Adoption will help you get started. Contact us today for details.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”