In 2014, there were 31,176 children in Texas foster care. Around that time, 4,041 of those children were eligible for adoption. Most children waiting for adoption in Texas are over the age of 10 or are part of a sibling group and do not wish to be separated.
When children enter Texas foster care, the goal is almost always to eventually reunite with their biological family. Fortunately, for most children in foster care, this goal is achieved; 51 percent of children are reunited with their parents, and 22 percent are adopted, which is why relatively few of the children in Texas foster care are eligible for adoption.
Only when it the court determines that a child cannot be reunited with his or her biological family or extended family members will that child become eligible for Texas foster care adoption.
American Adoptions happens to specialize in the adoption of newborns and does not provide foster care adoption services in Texas, but foster care and adoption are great family-building options. The following can help you to learn more about foster care adoption in Texas so you can decide whether it’s right for your family.
There are three different ways to become involved in the Texas foster care system for prospective parents, either by providing temporary care or creating a permanent parent-child relationship.
The Texas foster care system places children in temporary safe and loving homes, where they can receive the care of a stable and supportive family while they wait for a permanent placement — either being reunited with their biological family or being adopted by their foster parents, a relative or another adoptive family.
If you think you may be interested in adopting a child after you’ve become their foster parent, planning foster to adopt in Texas may be the right path for you. You become a foster parent with the potential to adopt your foster child if they become eligible for adoption. Most Texas foster care children do not become eligible for adoption, but if they do, priority when choosing adoptive parents is first offered to biological family members, and then to his or her foster parents.
You don’t have to become a foster parent in order to adopt through foster care in Texas. You can request to exclusively match with children in foster care who are currently eligible for adoption in Texas.
Foster parents and parents who adopt through foster care in Texas are typically eligible for some kind of adoption assistance via state-funded adoption subsidies, although the exact amount will vary based on the needs of the child(ren) you adopt.
Before becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Texas, you will need to complete standard background checks (as will anyone in the household aged 14 or older), submit relative and non-relative references, attend 20 hours of foster parent training courses per year, agree to a nonphysical discipline policy, obtain TB testing, obtain and maintain a first aid/CPR certification and complete a Texas foster care adoption home study in addition to a foster parent license. A foster parent must be at least 21 years old in the state of Texas and financially stable.
The Texas foster care adoption home study generally includes: abuse and neglect clearances; state and federal background checks; the review of important social, medical and financial documents; in-home interviews and visits; and more.
Requirements for foster parents may vary based on the foster care agency or professional you work with. Some agencies may offer in-house foster parent training. Contact your foster care agency to learn how to become a foster parent with them.
Parental rights must be terminated before a child can become eligible for a Texas foster care adoption. The termination of parental rights can occur voluntarily, or parental rights may be terminated involuntarily by the court if the parent fails to meet the predetermined requirements needed to regain custody of their child and the court believes this is in the best interest of the child.
When a child living in foster care turns 18, they “age out” of Texas foster care. Some foster parents who cared for these children may still adopt them through an adult adoption.
For more information about foster care and adoption in Texas, visit the Texas foster care adoption agencies and Texas adoption photolisting sites below:
Texas Adoption Resource Exchange’s Texas adoption photolisting
If you adopt from the Texas foster care system, your adoption will need to be legally finalized in your local district court.
Your Texas foster care agency can refer you to the resources and services that you’ll need as a foster family or foster-adoptive parent, including training classes, legal counsel and more.
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