Foster Care Agencies in Texas [Where and What Are They?]
Understanding Your Adoption Choices
Starting or growing your family can happen many different ways — one being adoption. And, there is more than one way to adopt. Three of the most common types of adoption are:
Foster care adoption
Though American Adoptions of Texas only works to complete private domestic infant adoptions, we’re here to help you get the necessary information about any type of adoption in Texas you pursue. This guide will show you:
The difference between private adoption agencies and foster care agencies in Texas
Where to find the best foster care agencies in Texas
And why foster care may be the right choice for you
To get more information about which type of adoption may be best for you, contact us online today or call 1-800-ADOPTION.
Private Adoption Agencies vs. Foster Care Agencies in Texas
One type of adoption is not necessarily better than the other. It all depends on your unique situation.
Fostering agencies in Texas are state adoption agencies. A significant difference between private pregnant adoption agencies and foster care agencies in Texas is the child’s placement.
A foster care agency in Texas acts on behalf of the state government to coordinate its foster care system. The agencies work with families hoping to foster children and families hoping to adopt from foster care. Additionally, there are families who are willing to do both.
Some other distinctive differences between the adoption processes with private adoption agencies vs. foster care agencies in Texas include the following:
The Child’s Age
Private Adoption: Infant
State Adoption: Less than 1 year old to 18 years old
The majority of foster care adoptions are of older children; the average age is 8 years old. And, there are many children who have siblings and/or have disabilities.
As of August 2021, there were 28,753 children in foster care in Texas and 5,925 children waiting for adoptive families.
The Adoption Costs
Private Adoption: $50,000-$70,000+
State Adoption: Cost of home study and possible agency fees
To understand which path is best for you, American Adoptions of Texas encourages hopeful adoptive couples to do their research before making any decision.
While we only work in private adoptions, we would be happy to answer questions about our adoption program and process.
The Adoption Wait Times
Private Adoption: 9-18 months, on average
Foster Care Adoption: Immediately to 5 years — depending on the situation
But with any adoption, certain aspects of your situation will impact your wait times, even for foster care adoption.
5 Foster Care Steps Hopeful Families Will Complete in Texas
The initial goal of the foster care system is to reunite the child with their biological parents. Its purpose is to provide a child with a safe, temporary home while a state judge decides whether the child’s biological parents are able to parent them again.
If the parents meet the judge’s reunification plan requirements, they can regain parental rights and bring their child home. This is the most common outcome.
But, in some cases, if the parents don’t meet the specific guidelines for reunification, the judge can terminate the parental rights, and the foster family can then pursue foster-to-adopt.
Once you’ve decided foster adoption is the path you want to take, the steps in Texas are much like the steps you would take in the rest of the country:
Step 1: Contact a Foster Care Agency in Texas
If you would like to help give a child in foster care a temporary home or look for more information about adopting through the foster care system, you can contact any of these foster care professionals in Texas below:
Step 2: Meet Basic Requirements and Complete a Foster Care Application
As long as you can meet the basic requirements for fostering and/or adopting in the state of Texas, you can begin your application process and attend the training sessions.
This application provides information about you, your home and why you wish to adopt from the foster care system. In this application, you’ll also indicate what you’re open to in terms of an adoption situation, such as the age range of children you’re willing to adopt.
This information will also help your social worker create a parent profile for you.
Step 3: Complete Parenting Classes
Depending on the agency you work with, you’ll take either PS-MAPP (Permanence and Safety-Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) or PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information Development and Education) classes. These competency-based training programs provide hopeful foster parents with base knowledge of information on caring for children in the child welfare system.
PRIDE, for example, covers topics such as:
Discipline and behavior intervention
Effects of abuse and neglect
Working with the child welfare system
And the effects of fostering and adopting on the family
Step 4: Complete a Family Home Study
This process is exactly like it would be for a private adoption home study. You will need to work with a licensed home study agency to complete this step.
The purpose of the home study is to discuss your:
Family interests and lifestyle
Strengths and skills in meeting the children's needs
Step 5: Wait for Placement
Depending on what you’re open to, this may happen quickly or it may take a few months. When a child is placed with you, you’ll undergo a finalization hearing, just as you would with a private adoption.
Where to Find Information and Resources for Foster Care Agencies in Texas
No matter what type of foster agency in Texas you use, adopting a child can be a wonderful gift for you and for a child. To learn more about foster care and foster care agencies, the following resources can be a great place to start:
To find more foster agencies in Texas, the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory Search on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website is a great place to start.
You can also speak with one of our adoption professionals today at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about the differences between private infant adoption and adoption through foster care agencies in Texas.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.