Adopting a child is a life-changing and beautiful act. By welcoming a child into your home, you can provide them with a safe and nurturing environment to grow up in. In Texas, both married and single individuals over 21 years old may adopt a child if they prove they are financially stable and responsible adults. If you qualify, you can become an adoptive parent after taking all of the adoption process steps, which vary depending on the type of adoption you choose.
Adoption with Texas’ DFPS
In Texas, you can become an adoptive or foster parent by completing the adoption process with a private adoption agency, an adoption lawyer, or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). In all processes, you may need legal assistance with the paperwork. If you want to pursue an adoption with the DFPS, the steps you will need to take are:
- Attend an informational meeting about the process of adoption. You can ask all of your questions at the meeting and then start an application if you are still interested.
- Meet with a DFPS staff member, who will determine if you qualify for adoption.
- Complete the Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) training program.
- Have a caseworker perform a family home study, in which they will ask you about your lifestyle, interests and experience. The caseworker will also inspect the safety of your home.
- Receive a match and placement of the child if the caseworker approves of your home.
- Finish the adoption process after six months of the placement of the child in your home.
You must also note that, as an adoptive parent, you must also take a certain number of training hours each year.
Independent and private adoption
You can also adopt with a private agency or independently with a lawyer. If you adopt independently, you won’t have to complete the foster care training. An independent adoption does not require you to complete these courses. Still, this adoption does involve a lot of complicated paperwork for which you will need legal assistance. If an independent adoption is not what you want, a lawyer can help you adopt with a private adoption agency. In this case, they can help you find a good agency, handle the communication and negotiate terms with them.
Starting a family
Any kind of adoption is positive. The right one for you will depend on your wishes and your specific circumstances. If you are unsure about which type of adoption you want to pursue, you can ask a lawyer for advice. By knowing all of your options, you can make the best decision regarding the adoption of your new child.