One of the many fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the adoption process in Texas. It’s been a year since the world shut down in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. There is progress since Texas and several other states have re-opened to 100% capacity. There are still some areas where precautions are needed.
Parenting during COVID brought unexpected challenges to families nationwide. From children suddenly at home with their work-from-home parents to families suddenly without income, The long-term effects of the pandemic have left children as well as adoptive parents in a lurch.
Delays throughout the legal system, including Texas’ foster care system, may mean a long process can take even longer. Despite the difficulties the pandemic imposes, adoptions are still happening.
Although we are all working towards getting back to normal, we still have a ways to go. International adoptions may also take much longer.
Placing A Child For Adoption
Uncertainty has made some parents change their minds about either adopting or placing a child for adoption.
Birth mothers still have the option of placing a child for adoption and meeting with prospective parents. This is true even if the mother and child test positive for COVID-19.
Normally, adoptive parents would meet the birth mother in person, but that’s not always possible. Calls and meetings can be conducted virtually in accordance with distancing guidelines. With a greater reliance on virtual meetings and conferences, court proceedings may also take place online.
If you’re planning to visit the hospital when the expectant mother gives birth, you’ll need to check with the hospital beforehand. Although most restrictions have been lifted, it’s best to find out what to expect so you can prepare for it.
Training, Visitations And Court Hearings
It’s still important to meet the child and possibly the parent or parents. But face-to-face meetings with caseworkers, social workers, and even attorneys may be conducted virtually until they’re no longer needed.
Many courts suspended non-essential and non-emergency hearings. Courts will now have to deal with a backlog of these types of cases, leading to further delays in finalization.
Home study and meetings with caseworkers and social workers may also be online or conducted with social distancing and other health and safety guidelines, such as masks.
Many adoptions take place through Texas’ foster care system, with many adopting children they foster. Adopting children through the foster care system can take less time than going through an adoption agency.
The Texas Department of Family Services lists guidelines and regular updates for foster parents during the pandemic. Although the state has reopened at 100%, foster parents may still need to exercise some precautions.
Let Wendy L. Hart Help Throughout The Child Adoption Process
Even though daily life looks different than it did before, that doesn’t mean you have to put adoption on hold.
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 legal issue related to adoption, call our Mansfield-Fort Worth family law office today at (817) 842-2336. We’ll be happy to help.