Many people decide to adopt instead of, or in addition to, having a child
biologically. As many children in Texas are without a home,
adoption is an amazing way to contribute to the wellness of the community while
welcoming a child into your life.
Different states will have different requirements for adoption. In Texas,
you will need to find a licensed child-placing agency near you so a home
study can be completed. Home studies include the completion of training,
a reference check, and a criminal background check. With a public state
agency, the cost is relatively minor; however, private adoption agencies
may cost more depending on which one you visit. Some agencies also provide
international adoptions, though if you’re interested in adopting
internationally, you should go to an agency that specializes in them.
If you want to adopt in Texas, you also need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Financial stability
- Be a responsible, mature adult
- Show proof of marriage and/ or divorce (if applicable)
- Attend free training to learn about the issue of abused and neglected children
To ensure you are eligible, get in touch with an agency about their requirements
for eligibility. Agencies are happy to answer your questions and concerns,
as they want to make sure all children have a loving home. If you plan
on adopting a foster child, you must attend a Parent Resource Information
Development Education (PRIDE) course, which covers topics related to loss
and grief, child attachment, and how adoption affects families.
Once you apply and attend the appropriate course, you should prepare your
home for the home study. You will have to provide a case worker with information
about your family, such as making copies of birth certificates for every
family member and a marriage certificate if you are married. The social
worker will need to walk through your home to ensure it is safe enough
for a child to live with you. Correct any potential hazards in advance,
such as storing dangerous chemicals in child-safe places and storing firearms
in locked cases. Cleaning the house is also advantageous.
When you meet with your social worker, he or she will discuss a variety
of topics with you, such as the reason for adopting, any health problems
you may have, your family relationships, your thoughts on child discipline,
and your own childhood memories. If he or she approves of the situation
and your family, you can proceed with finalizing the adoption.
The agency will require you to sign a contract. Review the details of the
contract carefully. You may want to get it inspected by a skilled family
law attorney in advance. Once you have signed the contract, you can choose
a child. The selection process may differ depending on the adoption you
Once you have chosen a child, the agency will make arrangements for you
to bring your child home. Mothers will generally have up to 10 days to
revoke their consent, but they can grant irrevocable consent, meaning
they can’t take it back.
You will then have to attend a final adoption hearing. A judge will look
over the details of the case and sign off on the adoption decree after
a hearing. Usually, the child will have to live with you for 6 months,
but the court might waive this requirement if it is in the child’s
best interests. You, your spouse, and any children you already have should
attend the hearing. The judge will ask you a few basic questions to ensure
everything is in order. You can then get a new birth certificate for your
child by completing a certificate of adoption form. It will cost $25 to
file and $22 to get a certified copy of the new certificate.
The adoption can take anywhere from 6 to 7 months, depending on which agency
you choose. International adoptions tend to take longer, especially in
countries where the government is unstable. If you have questions about
the adoption process, or you would like help with the process, talk to
one of our skilled
Houston family law attorneys. The
Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny has 30 years of legal experience to offer you and your family. We can
help you make the adoption process as smooth and as stress-free as possible.
Talk to us about the kind of adoption you’re interested in.
Contact us at (713) 936-2300 or
fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today!