What is Involved in a Texas Adoption

Paper cutout family of three with Adoption lettersWhen so many children need permanent, loving homes, it may seem counter-intuitive that adopting a child is more complicated and time-consuming than natural childbirth. However, each Plano family law attorney at GoransonBain Ausley is quick to point out that the Texas adoption process helps ensure that adoptive parents are, in many ways, better prepared than many first-time natural parents. We encourage anyone who wants to start a family to consider the rewards of adoption.

Each Step of the Adoption Process Offers Benefits

Although there may be procedural differences between private adoptions versus adopting through the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the law governing adoptions in Texas requires the same basic steps. DFPS provides detailed Steps to Become a Foster/Adoptive Parent page online. The following is a summary of these steps:

  1. Information meeting: In addition to age requirements and the ability to pass a criminal background check, you must be willing to go through every step in the adoption process. This meeting informs you about requirements and steps and lets you ask preliminary questions.
  2. Preparation meeting: Next, you meet with DFPS staff to further assess if adoption is right for you, while allowing the staff to assess your qualifications.
  3. Training: Texas provides a 35-hour Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) course providing instruction regarding basic child care, along with specific considerations that for each prospective adoptive parent. Prospective adoptive parents will also participate in three additional training and certification programs outside of the PRIDE program, each designed to further educate the adoptive parents regarding meeting the needs of their adoptive child.
  4. Home visit: Expect a home visit from a DFPS caseworker to review your personal history, lifestyle, experience caring for children and many other factors designed to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for adoption. Each member of your household, including other children, will be interviewed, so that a complete picture of the prospective family unit can be developed.

Mother and son reading bookEach step you complete prior beginning the adoption process prepares you and your family to bring a new child into your home — and helps ensure a seamless integration with your family. These steps are basically the same for families who wish to open their homes to children in need of foster care. Your Plano family law attorney at GoransonBain Ausley can help guide you through the adoption process.

Adoption does not Begin When the Child Comes Home

Finalizing an adoption requires a courtroom process attended by all family members. Our Plano family attorneys recommend that prospective adoptive parents seek legal advice as early in the process as possible. To learn about children who are available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, check-out WFAA’s Chanel 8 Wednesday Child.

If you are ready to consider growing your family through adoption, contact GoransonBain Ausley to obtain the legal guidance and information you need.

This post was written by Tracey Gajak.

Tracey E. Gajak

“If you only have a hammer, every problem you approach looks like a nail. With my years of experience in family law, combined with a strong background in civil litigation and appellate work, I have a wide range of solutions in my toolbox for my clients. ”

— Tracey E. Gajak