Foster Care Adoption in Texas - Is it Right for You?
What to Know About Adopting a Child from Texas Foster Care
If you’re wondering “Which type of adoption is right for my family?” because you want to start or add to your family or if you dream of meeting your child as a newborn in the hospital, a domestic infant adoption with American Adoptions could be the right route for you.
But, if you envision something different — like bringing home an older child or sibling group — Texas foster care adoption could be the answer you are looking for.
While American Adoptions only completes private infant adoptions and does not offer foster care adoption services, this can be a great family-building option for parents in Texas.
If you’re a birth parent considering giving your baby up for adoption in Texas, you can find helpful information here.
Here are five things you should know about Texas foster adoption to determine whether it’s right for your family.
1. The Texas Foster Care System
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 the court determines that a child cannot be reunited with his or her biological family or extended family members will a 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.
2. Your Options for Getting Involved
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 foster 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 your goal is to provide temporary care for a child in need, you should reach out to your local Department of Family and Protective Services office to learn more about foster parent certification.
Foster to Adopt in Texas
If you think you may be interested in adopting a child after you’ve become their foster parent, planning to foster to adopt in Texas may be the right path for you. With this option, you would 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.
This fact can be tough for some hopeful adoptive parents to accept. If you do not feel that the possibility of reunification between the foster child and their birth parents aligns with what you are looking for, fostering to adopt may not be for you.
Adopting through Foster Care in Texas
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. This process is sometimes referred to as straight adoption from foster care.
3. Texas Foster Care Adoption Financial Assistance
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.
4. Who Can Foster to Adopt in Texas or Adopt through Foster Care
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.
5. Who Can Be Adopted from Foster Care
Not every child in foster care is eligible for adoption.
Parental rights must be terminated before a child can become eligible for a Texas foster care adoption. Parental rights termination can occur voluntarily, or parental rights may be terminated involuntarily by the court if the parent fails to meet the predetermined requirements needed to be regain custody of their child.
If a child living in foster care is not adopted before turning 18, they “age out” of Texas foster care. Some foster parents who cared for these children may still adopt them through an adult adoption.
Texas Foster Care Adoption Agencies and Resources
Adoption through the foster system can be a rewarding way to grow your family. If you think this option may be right for you, you will need to contact a foster care professional to guide you through the process ahead. Keep in mind, American Adoptions is a private infant adoption agency; we do not provide foster care services.
Instead, you can find licensed 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. If you are still searching for more information and deciding on the type of adoption that is best for you, you can always get more free information about private infant adoption from American Adoptions.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.