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What is Foster Care Adoption in Texas? [7 Answers]

Adoption can be a beautiful choice, but finding the best adoption opportunity for your family is not always straightforward.

This article can help you if you are exploring the possibilities for adoption and hoping to grow your family.

We will answer some of the most common questions that potential adoptive families have about foster care adoption in Texas and how it compares to other forms of adoption. You can also get free adoption information with our online form.

If you are a potential birth parent you can get in contact with an adoption professional now through our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-ADOPTION or get information about domestic adoption through our online form.

1. What is the Definition of Foster Care Adoption in Texas?

Foster care adoption in Texas is a form of adoption that allows potential adoptive families to adopt children who are currently under the care of a state foster care agency. Children who are in foster care are generally under the care of a state agency due to an unsafe or unstable home environment.

While foster care adoption is sometimes possible, in most cases foster care placements are temporary and children return to a birth parent or relative.

2. How is Adoption Through Foster Care in Texas Different from Private Adoption?

There are many differences between foster care adoption in Texas and private adoption.

The biggest difference between adoption through foster care in Texas and private adoption is that in foster care adoptions, birth parents do not choose to place their child for adoption.

The state steps in when a child is in an unsafe or unstable home environment, and temporarily place children with foster families. The goal of foster care is generally to reunite children with their birth family, not to find adoptive parents. So, in most cases, it is more likely that a foster child will return to their parents rather than be adopted.

In some cases, though, reunification with birth family is not possible. When this happens, children in foster care can be placed for adoption.

In private adoptions, birth parents voluntarily choose adoption for their child — a decision made out of love and because they want a better life for their child.

3. How Likely is Foster Parent Adoption in Texas?

Once a child is in foster care, there are three options:

  1. Return to birth parents or get placed with family members
  2. Get placed for adoption with a non-relative
  3. Age out of foster care

Most children return to their birth parents, get placed with other blood relatives, or age out of the foster care system. In 2020, of the children who left foster care, roughly 25% were adopted (this includes children who were adopted by non-parent family members).

If you are interesting in adopting through foster care, there are two main options: foster to adopt and foster care adoption.

We’ll compare the two below.

Fostering to Adopt in Texas

  • Fostering to adopt means that you sign up to be a foster parent first—which means you are matched with temporary placements, and your ability to adopt depends on whether or not the children are able to be reunified with their birth parents.
  • Because most foster placements are temporary, fostering to adopt can often lead to disappointment.
  • You can care for and bond with a child for weeks, months, or years and ultimately, the child who you foster may return to their birth family.
  • However, being a foster parent means that you are providing support to a child in need of a loving and stable home.
  • In some cases, it may also turn out that you are able to adopt a child you have fostered.

Foster Care Adoption in Texas

  • In direct adoptions, there is less risk that a child will be returned to their birth parents.
  • Direct adoptions take place when parental rights have been terminated or are close to termination.
  • Most children who get adopted are adopted by a relative or by a current foster parent, which means that there are fewer opportunities for direct adoptions.
  • Most often the opportunities for direct adoption are for older children, sibling groups, and children who need special care.

4. How Long Does State Foster Care Adoption in Texas Take?

The timeline for state foster care adoption in Texas can vary widely depending on the situation.

If you choose fostering to adopt, it may be months or years from the time a child is placed in your home to the time you are able to adopt. And in many cases, you will never be able to adopt the child that comes into your home.

If you choose foster care adoption, the timeline will likely be shorter, as the children you adopt may have been waiting for an adoptive family or may be near the end of their time in foster care. However, there will likely still be a wait time as you get a background check, complete a home study, and fulfill the legal requirements of adoption.

5. Why Do Families Choose Foster System Adoption in Texas vs. Private Adoption?

There are several factors that adoptive parents often consider that may lead them to foster family adoption in Texas over private adoption:

  • If you are comfortable being flexible about how long a child will be in your life, fostering to adopt can give you many opportunities to have children join your family either temporarily or more long-term.
  • Fostering children meets the immediate needs of children who otherwise would not have a safe and stable home and family, and some families may see the risk of adoption disruption as worth it due to the positive impact they can have on children in need.
  • Foster care adoption in Texas can bring more children into your home— if you are interested in adopting sibling groups, you may be able to grow your family by several members at once.
  • Foster home adoption in Texas can have a lower initial cost than private adoption, and you may be able to receive assistance if you adopt children with special needs.
  • If you are open to growing your family with older children, children with special needs, and children in sibling groups, you may be able to find a direct adoption opportunity relatively quickly.

6. Why Might a Family Choose Private Adoption through a National Agency Instead of Adoption through Fostering in Texas?

While adoption out of the foster care system in Texas can be a good fit for some families, many families choose to adopt with national private agencies. With national private agencies like American Adoptions:

  • You are often able to bond with your adoptive child at birth or soon after, and can build a lifelong bond.
  • You are at less of a risk of adoption disruption than if you choose to be an adoption foster parent in Texas.
  • If you want to adopt an infant, your wait time may be lower and more predictable.
  • You can be chosen by a birth parent who is excited about you, and you can make a positive and stable connection with your child’s birth parents through open adoption.
  • Private agency adoption can offer support to birth parents who are experiencing difficult situations, so the experience can be a positive for everyone involved.
  • Adoptive families can receive more support and education than if they choose foster care adoption in Texas.
  • Private agencies can offer contact mediation with birth parents and support to make the adoption process smooth for everyone involved.

7. How Can I Get Started with Adoption?

If you are interested in fostering or foster care adoption in Texas, the best place to start will likely be the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

If you are interested in adoption through a private agency, you can get more information and get in touch with one of our adoption professionals at American Adoptions now through our online form.

In addition to the benefits of working with a national private adoption agency, 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.

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