The Complete Guide to Private Domestic Infant Adoption in TX“I want to adopt a baby in Texas,” is a commonly heard wish from hopeful parents. But how do you adopt a baby in Texas?
Adopting a baby in Texas can seem equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. You’re starting your journey to parenthood, but you’re probably unsure about next steps to private adoption in Texas. Don’t worry — we’re here to walk those who are looking to adopt a baby in Texas through the process.
Are you ready to adopt a newborn baby in Texas? Before you can answer that, you’ll first need to understand the private adoption process, the challenges and benefits of newborn adoption in Texas and the professionals you'll need to work with. All of that will be covered in this guide to private domestic infant adoption in Texas.
Adopting a baby in Texas is complex, yes. But we’ll take you through everything you need to know to get started here.
Is Infant Adoption in Texas Right for You?
Again, it’s important to really reflect on this question before you move forward. Adoption isn’t for everyone. Additionally, there are many types of adoption that you’ll want to research before deciding if adopting an infant in Texas is the right path for your family.
First, what is domestic infant adoption? Texas hopeful parents typically work with a private agency, so this process is also often called private infant adoption in Texas. In this process, a pregnant woman voluntarily creates an adoption plan after she has contacted a private agency. In that plan, she chooses an adoptive family who is looking to adopt a newborn in Texas, and she can then legally place her baby with those parents after birth.
When comparing domestic infant adoption in Texas to other types of adoption in Texas, like foster care and international adoption, how will you know which is the right option for you? Ask yourself if:
- You dream of raising an adopted child from birth
- You prefer to work with a private agency instead of a state (foster care) system
- You are excited by the benefits of semi-open and open adoption
- You are prepared for the challenges of the adoption process
- You are educated about the inherent trauma involved in adoption, even for newborns, and are prepared to appropriately support your child in the years to come
- You are ready to be flexible and open to the unknowns of finding newborns for adoption in Texas
If you answered “Yes,” to all of these questions, then an infant adoption in Texas is likely the right path for you, and you’re ready to move forward.
How to Adopt a Baby in Texas
At this point, you’re probably wondering, “How does private adoption work in Texas?” If you’ve decided that this is the right path for you and your family, it’s time to learn how to adopt privately in Texas.
Remember that every adoption journey is unique. The circumstances and personalities of both the prospective birth parents and adoptive parents will always be different, and so you’ll have your own unique relationship.
However, most people who are adopting a baby in Texas will go through the same general process and the same key steps. Those seven steps to adopt a baby in Texas are:
Step 1: Choose an Adoption Agency.
This is the first, and possibly the most important, choice you’ll make throughout the process. That’s because your agency will be your guide, educator and source of support for you (and for your child’s future birth mother) throughout the process of how to adopt an infant in Texas and beyond.
Working with a private adoption agency is the best way to adopt a baby in Texas. Trying to find a placement on your own leaves you (and the pregnant woman) vulnerable to scams, without the necessary services you both need and at risk for an incorrectly completed adoption.
We’ll offer some advice to help you learn how to choose a reputable and experienced agency below.
Step 2: Complete the Home Study and Create an Adoptive Family Profile.
Once you’ve contacted your preferred agency about how to privately adopt in Texas, you’ll need to complete some important pre-adoptive steps.
A home study is required for any adoptive family, regardless of the type of adoption or the professional they choose. Home studies assess the family’s physical, mental, emotional and financial readiness to welcome a child into their home. Its intent is to ensure that all children are placed into safe, loving and prepared families.
Once you’ve completed your home study process, you’ll create a profile that pregnant women can view. These detailed glimpses into your life allow prospective birth parents to get to know you and the type of parents you might be, and help them to imagine what their child’s life might be like in your family.
Your agency will usually be able to help you through these processes.
Step 3: Wait for an Adoption Opportunity.
This is often the hardest part of adopting a baby from Texas. It can take days, weeks, or months for a prospective birth parent to choose your family. Try to stay patient — it will happen!
Step 4: Accept an Adoption Opportunity.
When you’ve been chosen by a prospective birth parent, your adoption agency will contact you with some information about the opportunity. If you agree with the birth parent(s) that this may be the right match, you’ll then have the opportunity to talk and get to know one another.
Step 5: Engage in Pre-Placement Contact.
Today, 95% of adoptions of babies in Texas are open, or at least semi-open. This means that, after you are chosen for an adoption opportunity, you will likely have ongoing communication with the prospective birth parents throughout the remainder of the pregnancy and adoption process. You can get to know each other through phone calls, email exchanges, text messages and even in-person visits — or any other form of contact that you all agree on.
Pre-placement communication strengthens everyone’s commitment to the adoption, increases everyone’s comfort, and lays the groundwork for a relationship that will hopefully last a lifetime. We encourage you to learn more about openness in adoption and how it benefits everyone involved — especially adopted children.
Step 6: Placement.
This is the moment you’ve waited for: the moment when your child is placed into your arms for the first time.
Remember that in Texas, a woman must wait at least 48 hours after giving birth before she can offer her legal consent to an adoption. She then has up to 10 days after placement to revoke her consent, if that is her wish. We don’t tell you this to scare you, but rather to remind you that a woman can (and should) be able to change her mind before her adoption decision becomes permanent.
When her consent is confirmed, you’ll officially be new parents.
Step 7: Adoption Finalization.
After you receive placement of your child, you’ll complete a series of post-placement home study requirements. Once those are complete, your finalization hearing will be scheduled, typically about six months after the initial placement.
Once the judge has reviewed all the documentation and is satisfied that your private infant adoption in Texas has been completed in accordance with all Texas adoption laws, you’ll receive your final decree of adoption. This marks the legal completion of your adoption process!
Domestic Adoption Agencies in Texas
Now that you understand the basics of how to adopt a newborn in Texas, you’ll want to start considering which agency you’ll want to work with. As we said before, this is an important choice, so be sure to thoroughly research all of your options and ask Texas infant adoption agencies as many questions as you need.
Here’s what you should look for in an agency for private adoption in Texas:
Licensing: Adoption agencies are required to meet legal and ethical benchmarks. However, some newborn adoption agencies in Texas (and organizations that function similarly to agencies) are not held to the same standards. For example, some local agencies may only be licensed in one state, while larger national agencies are often licensed in several different states, creating added layers of review and protection for clients. Any Texas domestic adoption agencies that you consider working with should be fully licensed, meaning their work is reviewed by an objective third party according to the highest standards.
Experience: Ask domestic infant adoption agencies in Texas questions like:
- How long have you been operating?
- How many placements are you a part of each year?
- How consistent are those numbers year-over-year?
- How large is your staff?
Having a more-experienced agency will ensure a safer, smoother domestic adoption. Texas residents may find that talking to adoptive families who completed an adoption through the agency they’re considering can also be helpful.
Honesty: Does this agency only tell you what you want to hear? Do they ensure that there will be no complications? If an agency doesn’t seem upfront and honest with you about potential challenges, then they probably aren’t equipped to handle any challenges. Look for honesty when it comes to the private adoption cost in Texas (some agencies have hidden fees), their experience, and their services for different steps of the adoption process for a baby in Texas.
With that in mind, it’s time to start searching for infant adoption agencies in Texas. There are many licensed agencies across the state. To get you started, here are some of the top licensed private adoption agencies in Texas:
- American Adoptions
- American Adoptions of Texas
- Adoption Answers
- Gladney Center for Adoption
- Lifetree Adoption Agency
Connect With a Professional Today
Need to learn more about how to adopt a newborn baby in Texas? Contact an adoption professional now for free information and help adopting an infant in Texas.