Frequently Asked Questions
What is foster care adoption?
Foster care adoption is the process of transferring permanent legal rights of a foster child from one person or couple to another forever. Legally, the result is the same as if you performed a “traditional” adoption; the child will legally belong to you. When adopting from foster care, you will either assume the parental rights from the birth parents or the State of Texas.
What are the requirements?
Individuals or couples who want to adopt a child from foster care are required to attend orientation and training classes at no cost. A home study is also required to assess the safety of the environment for the child. You can learn more about the basic requirements or contact us to answer your questions.
What is a home study?
After initial training is completed, a licensed social worker will visit your home to make sure fire, health and safety standards are met. Family interviews will be conducted to determine what kind of child could be successfully adopted into your home. Requirements and other specifics regarding the home study are covered in detail during training so you have time to make changes if necessary.
Why must I take training?
Adopting or fostering a child involves issues different than parenting a child born to you. You may need to work with the child over time to help them manage feelings about foster care, adoption or their birth family. The provided training will help make the adoption permanent and successful.
How long does it take?
The process of adoption involves many variables. You will be required to complete paperwork, attend training and determine what kind of child you would like in your home. Because of this, the timeline is different for every family. Families are usually ready to accept a child within 2-4 months and many have their adoption finalized by the court within 8-12 months. It can take less or more time depending on your preferences and other variables.
Do I get to choose the child?
Yes. During the process, you will have opportunities to learn about the children that are available and determine the age, gender, race and other characteristics that would work best with your family. You will see the child’s background and make the final determination on their placement in your home. The social worker assigned to your case will also work with you to make suggestions throughout the process.
How does the matching process work?
Once training and the home study is complete, your home is considered “verified” and your family will be regularly presented for matching with children in the State’s care. Your case manager will be recruiting for you and when a possible match is found you will be contacted to review the child’s case and make a decision about moving forward. Depending on the circumstance, you may visit with the child several times and perhaps have them in your home. After proper approval from the State, your caseworker and other officials, the child will be placed in your home. You will know the child’s plan and be able to work towards their permanency goal as a family.
What does it cost?
The State of Texas subsidizes case management and most of the cost associated with adoption from foster care. There are some small fees associated with fingerprinting and background checks, but the only major fee required by adoptive families is attorney costs. Most families pay $1,500 or less. However, these fees can be subsidized if the child(ren) meets certain criteria. Additionally, college or trade school tuition and many other financial subsidies are available to adopted children meeting certain criteria. Contact us for more information.
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
Yes, you will need legal representation in order to file paperwork to petition the court for the adoption. You will be provided with a list of attorneys in your area that are experienced in foster care adoption.
How do I get started?
To get started you need to contact a service center near you or inquire online. You will be sent an application packet and scheduled for an orientation if you wish. You can also attend an information meeting to learn more about the process and decide if adoption or foster care is right for your family before moving forward.
What kids are available for Adoption?
You can read about the children available for adoption here.
What if I need help after my adoption?
Your case manager is available for you well after the adoption is finalized and post adoption services are available through a number of different ways. Contact us for more information.
Can alternative families adopt or foster?
Yes. Families consisting of a single adult or two adults of the same gender can adopt or foster a child. In Texas, one parent in a same gender relationship will be considered the legal parent for adoption.
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