Making the decision to adopt a child requires plenty of due diligence and reflection. If you’ve considered every variable and decided adopting is right for you and your family, you can begin preparing for the process.
Read on for a checklist of some common items for parents interested in adoption.
1. Determine the type of adoption that’s right for you
Domestic adoption, international adoption and adoption from the foster care system are three of your options in Texas. Consider whether you want to adopt an infant or an older child, and whether factors such as race, disabilities or sibling groups may affect your decision.
Closed adoptions, in which the child has no contact with birth parents, are more common with international adoptions. Many domestic and foster adoptions are open, involving some level of contact with the birth parents.
2. Prepare for the adoption evaluation
In Texas, prospective parents must undergo an evaluation process, during which the evaluator will gather information and make recommendations to the court. You will have to provide documentation such as:
- Driver’s license
- Birth, marriage and divorce certificates
- Background checks
- Financial records
- Health records
- Personal references
Someone will come to your home and conduct an inspection, as well, to make sure your residence is safe and ready for a child. The evaluator also interviews you and your family during the evaluation process.
3. File the adoption petition
You must file all of the required paperwork with the court and attend an adoption hearing. If you need to request that the court terminates the biological parents’ rights, you can take care of it during the same hearing. You also have the option to change your adopted child’s name in the court order. The adoption becomes final and legal once you receive the court order.
Adoption is a rewarding but challenging endeavor. If you and your family are ready to bring a child into your life, contact a qualified family law attorney for guidance.