You`re interested in adoption, but you`re not sure where to start. In Texas, you have several options for adoption available. The first thing you must decide is the type of adoption you are interested in. Do you want an infant or an older child? Do you want to adopt domestically or internationally? These decisions will determine where you start.
Who May Adopt In Texas
Potential adoptive parents must be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults, and complete a home study.
Texas Adoption Home Study
What does a home study involve? It is an inspection, for lack of a better word, of your home, your background, your financial ability to raise a child, your parenting skills or tools, your marriage (if applicable) and many other aspects of your life. All adults in your home will need to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse and neglect check. To some people it feels intrusive, but you will go through the same types of questions, no matter which avenue of adoption you choose to pursue.
International Adoption In Texas
Infants may also be adopted through international adoption. Some countries do not allow infant adoptions and only place older children. Certain countries have tighter restrictions on the age limits of the adoptive parents. Working with an adoption agency that is experienced in facilitating adoptions in the country you are interested in will make your adoption go much more smoothly. Be sure the agency is licensed to conduct adoptions in Texas.
Texas Infant Adoption
If you are interested in adopting an infant in Texas, it will be handled through an adoption agency or an adoption attorney. Just as with an international adoption, make sure that any agency or attorney that you use is licensed in Texas and has experience with infant adoptions.
If you are a birth mother and plan to place your child for adoption but are unable to make an adoption plan you may take advantage of Texas`s Safe Haven law. The law allows you to place your infant (up to 30 days old) with an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Provider. They will find a safe home for your child.
Texas Older Child Or Special Needs Adoption
Texas does not have a shortage of children available for adoption. There are many children in foster care who are waiting for a forever family. While the program is called special needs adoption, it is not only children with a physical or emotional special need that are waiting to be adopted. Children who are part of a sibling group that need to be placed together, children of different ethnic backgrounds, and children who are older and have a difficult being placed because of their age are all considered special needs.
Potential adoptive parents are required to complete a series Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE) training classes. The classes help to educate you on the potential needs of a special needs child and give you resources to handle these situations.
Texas Adoption Registry
Texas maintains a Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry. The Registry searches for individuals whose information matches. If a match occurs, the identities of the parties are confirmed and the information is released to the interested parties. Registration is handled through the Texas Department of Human Services.