How Does Adoption Work in Texas?
Adoption is a lifelong commitment to a child, and must be entered into with the utmost consideration and care. The public agency responsible for adoptions requires prospective parents to meet certain standards to ensure that the adoptive children are placed appropriately and safely. As such, the process for adopting children in Texas is rigorous. A College Station adoption attorney can help you with the adoption process, but the following provides an overview of how the process works.
Requirements for Adoption
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) governs the placement of children with adopting families. Before entering into the formal adoption process you and your spouse needs to carefully assess your lifestyle and living situation to determine whether you will be able to provide an optimal situation for a child. In other words, you should consider the child's needs before your own desires.
The basic requirements for adopting a child are:
- Both parents must be at least 21 years of age.
- You must be financially stable.
- You must pass criminal as well as abuse/neglect background checks.
- You must agree to submit to a home assessment.
- You must agree to allow DFPS to interview all members of the household.
The Adoption Process
Once you are sure about adoption, you will need to contact DFPS to arrange attendance at a required information meeting. At this meeting you will be told about the adoption process and the requirements that must be met. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. Following the information meeting you will meet with DFPS staff individually to be assessed. During this interview you can expect questions about your mental and physical fitness for parenthood. This assessment will also help DFPS determine what child is best suited to your family. For instance, you and your spouse may be ideal candidates for a special needs child.
Your next step will be to complete Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE). This is a course designed for parents before adoption which explains the sorts of issues that may arise, how children develop, and how you might be able to facilitate the child as it adapts to its new home.
Following the PRIDE course your home will be visited by a DFPS staff member. The purpose of this visit is to assess you and your home to ensure that you are fit for the role of adoptive parent. Mental and physical health, family history, income, and lifestyle are among the issues you will be asked about. Should the assessment be successful, your family will be certified as eligible to adopt. It will then be a matter of finding the right child, and then having you and your College Station adoption attorney file the appropriate court paperwork. Once the judge signs the adoption order the adoption becomes permanent.
We Can Help if You Are Considering Adopting a Child
By adopting a child you can give the greatest gift imaginable to a child—a home and a family. It is useful to work with a College Station adoption attorney to facilitate the adoption process. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014.