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Texas Adoption Process Part 1: Adopting a Child Through Foster Care

The decision to expand a family through adoption is deeply personal and unique to each family’s situation. Adoption can be a long and difficult process. If you are thinking of adopting a child from the foster care system, there are a few things you must prepare.

How Foster Care Adoption Works

Sometimes a child is removed from their home and placed in a temporary foster home.

This could be due to their parent’s:

  • negligence;
  • physical abuse;
  • emotional abuse; or
  • substance abuse.

A judge presents the biological parents with a reunification plan, but if the parents are unable to complete the plan, their parental rights are terminated. A permanent family is sought for the child (usually with blood relatives first), but if no relative is found for adoption the foster family has the opportunity to adopt the child, as does an outside family looking to adopt a child from the foster care system.

For couples committed to adoption and ready to get started with the process, there are requirements you must meet.

In Texas, a couple interested in adoption must:

  • be at least 21 years old;
  • complete an application to adopt;
  • be financially stable;
  • provide references;
  • share lifestyle and background information;
  • provide proof of marriage and/or divorce;
  • complete a home study;
  • submit a criminal background and child abuse check.

What Is a Home Study?

A home study is required for any adoption and determines whether you and your home are fit to raise a child.

During the process, a caseworker will visit your home to discuss:

  • your personal history;
  • family lifestyle and interests;
  • childcare experiences;
  • strengths; and
  • skills in meeting a child’s needs.

The home study also includes an interview with you, your spouse, and anyone else residing in your home. If you are an “out-of-state” couple looking to adopt a child from Texas, the state requires the criminal background check to be performed in Texas. This is to ensure every couple adopting a child from Texas has completed the same requirements.

Consult with Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C.

If you are looking to adopt a child through the Texas foster care system, our attorneys can help. Our team can guide you through the entire adoption process as we defend your best interests and rights.

This is a two-part series. Be sure to come back on September 24th to learn more about adopting a child through surrogacy.