Dallas Adoption, Home Studies and More
Lifetime Adoption is a leader in domestic, open adoption. Our caring and experienced adoption coordinators are always ready to assist you. With over three decades of experience connecting birth families with adoptive families, our coordinators will guide you through the process. We offer podcasts, webinars, provide articles, counseling, referrals, along with one-on-one support.
Help for Pregnant Women in Dallas
There are quite a few Dallas adoption agencies and if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it can feel overwhelming on where to start. Lifetime Adoption is a great place to start if you have been Googling “Dallas adoption agencies”. We are here to help you get the information you need and answer the questions you have to make an adoption plan. For help and guidance, just call or text our adoption coordinators 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
At Lifetime Adoption, a coordinator will help you come up with an adoption plan that lets you make the choice for you and your child. Finding a loving home with adoptive parents that are emotionally and financially ready for a baby may be the best thing you can do for your child. You get to choose the adoptive family for your baby, and you can even decide how much contact you want with the family once the adoption process is complete. How things go at the hospital will also be up to you.
One issue many women facing an unplanned pregnancy are pregnancy expenses. The extra money needed for some pregnancy-related expenses is often hard for some women to come up with. Adoption Agencies in the Dallas, Fort Worth area can help with those expenses. The state of Texas allows agencies to provide assistance from when a pregnant woman chooses adoption until six weeks after the birth. Assistance can include help with rent, clothes, transportation to the doctor, food, phone, and more. Your coordinator will talk with you about what your needs are and will help you get the support and resources you need!
Adoption for a toddler or older child is also an option through Dallas adoption agencies. If you are struggling to raise a young child and are considering adoption, Lifetime Adoption can help. You can find profiles of families that are interested in adopting sibling sets, toddlers, and special needs children.
When considering adoption, making that first call to a Dallas adoption agency can be hard. At Lifetime, you will find a caring adoption coordinator that will answer your call or text. She will answer all of your questions. She will not judge you and will talk with you honestly. Your coordinator will guide you through the process and be there for you.
Dallas Adoption Help
Your Lifetime Adoption coordinator will make sure you have:
- 24-hour help and support
- Adoptive parent profiles that you can choose from. All families have had background checks.
- Peer and Professional Counseling
- Maternity clothes, toiletries, and a labor bag if you need them.
- Help with pregnancy-related expenses
- Additional support after you have given birth
- And much more!
Adoption Counseling in Dallas
One of the most popular counseling offered through Lifetime is Peer counseling. Talking with another woman who has faced an unplanned pregnancy or placed her older child for adoption can be very helpful. While her story may not be exactly like yours, a peer counselor will understand your feelings and emotions and can answer the questions you have. She can share advice on telling your family, discussing adoption with the birth father, and many other words of advice.
Maternity Hospitals in the Dallas Area
- At the time of birth, who would you like in the room?
- Would you like to hold your baby after the birth?
- Will you want the adoptive parents at the hospital?
- Would you like to go home before or after your baby?
Your coordinator will work with the hospital to make sure they know what your wishes are and that they are followed. She wants to make sure you have as little stress as possible and are comfortable in the hospital.
In the Dallas area, the hospitals with labor and delivery services are:
Whichever hospital you choose to deliver at, we will work with that hospital to make sure they understand your wishes. If things don’t go as planned, don’t worry. We have worked with women who were traveling out of state when they went into labor or have given birth at home.
More Helpful Resources for Pregnant Women in Dallas
If you are experiencing homelessness or you are in a domestic violence situation, a priority needs to be to find safe housing. Here are some local resources for women’s shelters in Dallas and the surrounding area:
If you are pregnant or the mother of young children and are struggling with hunger, the WIC program is a resource for you. WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children and provides an EBT card to purchase healthy food such as fruit, eggs, whole grains, milk, cheese, and vegetables. They can also offer referrals to local services. Learn more by visiting their website:
It is important to find a treatment program if you are dealing with addiction. Abruptly stopping using drugs can be dangerous if you are pregnant. A treatment center will have professionals who can offer options if you are addicted to prescription drugs or opiates. A treatment center will also be able to provide counseling along with medications (like methadone and suboxone). These can help you slowly wean off the opiates. Here are a few resources in Dallas:
If you are in need of any other additional resources, your Lifetime Adoption coordinator will offer confidential help, no matter what issue you may have. We can help with transportation, prenatal care, pregnancy verification, rent, maternity clothes, and more. Call or text today.
How to Start the Adoption Process
Your next question probably is, “How do I get this adoption process started?” First, call or text Lifetime Adoption or go online and fill out the contact form. Your adoption coordinator will explain how to create your adoption plan. She will also make sure you have all of the resources you need. She will answer all your questions and will talk with you about any concerns or needs you may have. You will always find a is kind, caring, and non-judgmental adoption coordinator available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for you.
Our adoptive families have online profiles so you can learn as much about the families as possible. You can read the letters they have written or watch video messages. You, as a birth mother, decide what kind of family you are looking for and you choose the adoptive parents you would like to talk with.
To view adoptive family profiles online, just click here. Whether you are interested in Catholic adoption in Dallas, a family who lives in Texas or another state, or prefer a couple of a certain race, we will find a family for you. Once you have chosen a family, your adoption coordinator will help you connect with them. You can then begin building a relationship with them. Your coordinator will guide everyone involved through this process.
If there are community resources in the Dallas area you are in need of, your adoption coordinator will also help you connect with those resources. You may need to connect with a doctor for prenatal care, and you may need transportation to get there, for example. Your coordinator will help you with those issues.
Other Paths to Adoption in Dallas
Another option is relative or kinship adoption. This option means a family member who is usually blood-related to the child can apply to adopt your baby. This type of adoption can have its own challenges. Sometimes the adopting relative may think they are just helping out short term and not realize this is a permanent thing. There can also be some issues with boundaries that will need to be talked about and worked through.
Look into all of your options and then decide which type of adoption is best for you and your baby. Talk with a counselor and with your adoption coordinator to make sure you have all the facts.
Adopting in Dallas – Where to Start When Researching Dallas Adoption Agencies
Adoption is such a life-changing decision. You will have a lot of questions and need a lot of information for this journey ahead of you. If you are planning on adopting in the Dallas area, the adoption coordinators at Lifetime Adoption are here to help you during this amazing time. They are here to make your adoption dreams come true. They will answer all of your questions and explain the whole adoption process in detail. You will learn what to expect during your adoption process and all about open domestic adoption.
Making sure birth mothers and their child are matched with families that are the best fit for everyone in the adoption triad is a priority at Lifetime Adoption. If you are in the Dallas area and are interested in adopting a newborn or child up to the age of six, contact us at 727-493-0933 to ask any questions. Visit the Lifetime Adoption website for a free online adoption application and to learn more about adoption. You will find adoption resources and an abundance of adoption information as well.
At Lifetime Adoption, we will provide you with all the resources, education, referrals, and support you need to make your adoption dreams come true.
Begin the Adoption Process
The adoption process can feel confusing, and there is a lot of information. You do not need to navigate this on your own, however. First, you need to fill out our online application. Applying is free, and filling out the form does not obligate you in any way.
Once you are pre-approved, you will be contacted by a Lifetime adoption coordinator. Be ready with all of your questions, and your coordinator will be happy to provide the answers. You can expect your coordinator to ask what your adoption dreams and expectations are. Your adoption coordinator will compile all of your information to create the best plan for you to result in a successful adoption.
How much does it cost to adopt a baby or child in Dallas, Texas?
Domestic adoption costs can vary depending on the type of adoption you do, the state you are adopting from, and the professionals you need to complete the adoption. There are requirements that every family must satisfy in order to adopt and these typically have costs depending on the chosen professional as well as the services included.
A home study is mandatory and prices are usually set by the provider. These average $2,000 to $4,000 and will also include required adoption education, background checks, and mileage/travel expenses for the social worker to come to your home. Most families will need an adoption agency to help them locate and screen potential adoption opportunities, as well as provide necessary services to potential birth parents including counseling and pregnancy support.
Agency costs typically start at $25,000 and may go as high as $50,000, depending on the adoption agency chosen. When you are matched with a child or pregnant mother for an adoption, you will also need to engage legal services, including legal services for the birth parents as needed. These legal costs can range from $8,000 to as much as $15,000 or more, depending on a variety of factors including the state requirements and legal requirements that are unique to each situation. Overall, a domestic adoption from one of the Dallas adoption agencies typically can run between $38,000 and $70,000.
Another factor to consider are the expenses needed to help and assist the expecting mother through her pregnancy. Each state has different rules for what is and is not allowable. A family should set a budget so they have a clear understanding of how much they are able to help with. Adoption related pregnancy expenses can include rent, utilities, food, clothing, medical, transportation, and more.
Your agency or attorney will assist with determining what is allowed by the state and recommended for the expectant mother you are matched with. Average birth mother expenses with Lifetime are typically around $5,000. Although some birth parents, due to their circumstance could need more assistance, and others could need less. Lifetime will guide you into setting a healthy budget.
Adopting a waiting child from the foster system or from AdoptUSKids is often the lowest cost. In these adoptions, the adoption costs are paid by the state. Most waiting children or those in the foster system are older (over eight years old) or may have special needs. Families will be provided the adoption and parenting education they need to address what to expect with these adoptions. This is typically not a viable route for families wanting to adopt babies or children under five-years-old.
International (or Intercountry) adoption remains an option as well, and you may wish to view the current countries allowing international adoption. Like foster adoption, it is not a route to adopt babies. It also has risks including a country closing prior to completing an adoption, as happened with Haiti and Ukraine. If that happens, adoption fees paid are not returned and your adoption may be in limbo for many months (or even years). Adoption costs vary by country and agency, but typically international adoption has costs similar to those of domestic adoption. The first step is to decide on a country you are interested in and then seek out an adoption agency that is licensed to work in that country.
Adoption Attorneys in Dallas
Home Study Services in Dallas
Texas laws require the following to complete an adoption:
- Complete an application to adopt.
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must provide references.
- You must be financially stable.
- You must be responsible and mature.
- You must share background and lifestyle information.
- You must provide proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable)
- You must complete a home study.
Your home study will include employment information, background checks, education hours, financial verification, and a home visit. Your Lifetime coordinator will guide you through the home study process.
How will the home study process work in the Dallas area? The first thing you will do is submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. Then you will need to gather the following documents.
- Verification of marital status
- Financial and Employment Statements such as tax returns and paystubs.
- Medical Statement from your doctor or medical professional verifying your physical and mental well-being.
- Three written references attesting that the couple are suitable to be adoptive parents
Once you set up your home study, you can expect your home study social worker to interview everyone in the home and put all of this information into a report. This visit is to ensure you have a safe and adequate home to raise a child in. They will also want to find out what your views are regarding parenting, marriage, and family.
Finalization of Adoption at Court
So now you have matched with a birth mother, completed your home study, and your baby has arrived. You have one final step, and then your adoption will be finalized.
In general, Texas law mandates that a woman must wait 48 hours after the birth before consenting to the adoption. Then the child must be in the custody of the adoptive parents for at least six months. During that time, five post-placement visits by your social worker must be conducted. Once that process is complete, you will have a hearing at the courthouse to finalize the adoption.
Your adoption attorney will have filed all necessary paperwork at the courthouse and set the hearing date. In the Dallas area, you will go to the District Court in your area. At this point, the judge will review your home study and all documents and will then issue the final adoption decree. Be ready to take pics and shed a few happy tears. This will be a very festive occasion so enjoy!
Other Paths to Adoption
Dallas International Adoption Agencies
There are different paths to adoption. Choosing which path is right for you is a very important decision. Some families want to help a child from another country who is in need, and so they may consider international adoption.
When choosing international adoption, one of the choices is which country you want to adopt from. Some things to consider are the political climate, the needs of the children, and many other factors that should influence a family’s decision regarding which country to adopt from. In addition, every country has its own laws and requirements.
It is important to work with an agency that specializes in international adoption and has experience working in the country you are interested in. Some of the most popular countries are in the nations of China, Africa, and Eastern European countries. Here are some agencies that specialize in international adoption:
Foster Care Adoption
To qualify as a foster parent, you will need to:
- Be at least 21 years of age, a mature adult, financially stable, and responsible.
- Complete an application.
- Share your information about your background and lifestyle.
- Provide references from relatives and non-relatives.
- You can be single, married, widowed, or divorced. You will need to show proof of marriage if you are married and/or proof of divorce if you are/were divorced and proof of spouse’s death if widowed.
- You will need to complete a home study which includes visits with household members and inspection of all parts of the home, grounds, and outbuildings.
- You will need to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household. (Adults are people age 14 and older who live in or visit your household regularly.)
- Attend free training to learn about issues of neglected and abused children.
Training is important because it provides an opportunity for the family and the family’s agency to decide whether foster care or adoption is the right choice for the family.
A great resource is AdoptUSKids. You can view children hoping to be adopted in the Dallas foster care system and in other states.
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