Legacy gives a step by step guide to the domestic adoption process
The first step in the domestic adoption process is deciding whether it is right for you. We recommend learning as much as you can before committing to adoption. Getting together with other families who have adopted, attending a conference or speaking with an adoption counselor can all be helpful.
The first steps of the domestic adoption process
Our Texas adoption agency has counselors on staff who regularly speak with couples interested in adoption. We walk them through domestic adoption, step by step. Here, we will lay this process out for you.
- Fill out an agency’s initial application
This may seem like the easy part of the domestic adoption process, but agencies take their applications very seriously. During this phase, the agency determines whether the couple is committed to adoption. They want to be fair to you, other waiting families and expectant parents.
Some of the questions you’ll answer may include the following.
- How did you decide on adoption?
- What are your hopes and expectations?
- How open are you in terms of your child’s needs, race and gender?
- How can the agency best support you?
- Complete the home study
Everyone pursuing Texas adoption must complete a state home study. Contrary to its name, most of the study does not actually involve the home. It is the state’s way of evaluating how stable and committed a family is.
Once you officially join an adoption agency, they will help you find a social worker to complete your home study. This state agent will help you obtain all the necessary components of the study.
- Market yourself
Your agency will help you put together a profile of yourself. This may include photographs, written components and perhaps a video. Most agencies will compile both print and online materials of their waiting families.
Our adoption agency personally shows profiles to expectant parents and makes the online profiles of our families open to the public. This is helpful because most expectant parents spend a great deal of time browsing the internet, looking for the family they dream of for their child.
Taking the next steps to adopt a child
After completing the first steps of the domestic adoption process, our Texas adoption agency will guide you until you legally adopt your baby.
The next step in the adoption process happens when an expectant mother chooses you to parent her child. This is an exciting development for families! During this phase, you will be able to get to know a very brave and selfless woman. You can begin making plans, including the hospital stay and post-placement communication.
This phase is also tender. It is important to remember that until the expectant mother relinquishes parental rights, the child is still legally hers.
- Birth and temporary custody
The expectant mother will have determined her hospital plan with her adoption counselor prior to delivery. Once the child is born, the adoptive parents can be as involved as the new birth mother wants them to be.
In Texas, the birth mother must wait 48 hours before relinquishing her rights. Once she does so, the Agency becomes managing conservator and the new parents become the care providers during the 6 month period of supervision before finalization.
- Adoption and finalization
The final step of the domestic adoption process is finalization. In Texas, this process takes six months to complete and includes post placement visits from your social worker. He or she will begin writing a report to the state court.
This report will recommend that you become the permanent and legal parents of your new baby. Many courts have celebratory adoption days, in which they grant multiple finalizations at once. Your child is now legally yours “as if he or she were born to you.”
If you have other questions about Texas adoption, call or text our counselors at (214) 380-0888.