Texas CPS reports that more than 6,000 Texas neglected, and abused children were waiting to be adopted, with 60% of them more than six years of age.
People adopt children for a number of reasons: infertility, adopt young relatives when a parent can no longer care for them, or just to add to their family. Many foster parents adopt a child or children to remove them from the foster care system.
For whatever reason you’re considering adoption, understand that it is a long, involved process that takes time and money. A family law attorney with Texas adoption experience can guide you through the child adoption process and help ease you through the transition that comes with adoptions.
The Texas Adoption Process
We discussed the requirements for a Texas adoption in a previous blog post. Texas has a process with specific steps that have to be followed in order to complete the child adoption process.
adopting family must be approved for adoption. Should the family not be
approved, they may be referred to private CPA or the CPS Foster/Adoption Home
Development (FAD) program
- Once the family is approved, they must agree to undertake a “home study,” which includes visits with all household members, and inspection of all parts of the home, grounds, and outbuildings.
family reviews the child’s information, including:
- The Health, Social, Educational, Genetic History report
- The child’s available background information, including the CPS report (some information is redacted)
- Asks any questions of CPS and about the child’s background information, to make an informed adoption decision
- For minority children over age two or non-minority children over age 6
- Adoption of a previously adopted sibling
- Children who are physically, mentally or emotionally handicapped
- Benefits to family and children, including Medicare until age 18 and monthly adoption assistance payments available
- Adoptive placement: a meeting in which the caseworker, case manager and adoptive family meet to sign papers to place the child in the home.
- Court hearing in which the adoption is finalized, conservatorship (custody) is given to the adoptive parents and the case is closed.
Some Decisions To Make
You’ll also have to consider a few things:
- Do you want to adopt an infant, or an older child?
- Do you want to adopt domestically (i.e., here in Texas, or in the US), or internationally?
- Do you want to adopt publicly (such as through the state’s foster parenting program) or go through a private adoption?
- Do you want to continue communication with one or both of the birth parents, or not?
Once you’ve made these decisions, it’s time to begin the adoption process with a qualified Fort Worth family law attorney in Tarrant County.
Other Things To Remember
Children in Texas can only have one legal set of parents. If someone else is interested in adopting the child, the rights of one or both of the child’s biological parents must be terminated. In the case of a stepparent adoption due to marriage, the child’s other biological, noncustodial parent must agree to the adoption and the termination of parental rights, unless a court decides it’s in the child’s best interest.
Adoption is permanent. If you divorce your spouse or partner, you will still be responsible for the child’s wellbeing and care. Both adoptive parents will be responsible for various forms of child support (payments, medical insurance, etc.) until the child is an adult, just as if he or she were your biological child.
Let Wendy L. Hart Help Throughout The Child Adoption Process
At the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart, our greatest professional accomplishments involve happy families brought together. As always, you can expect passionate service, thorough knowledge of Texas adoption law, and compassion towards your goal and interests. To begin the adoption process or for help with an existing issue, call our Mansfield-Fort Worth family law office today at (817) 842-2336.