The decision to adopt a child is one that takes a lot of thought and consideration. If you and your spouse have tried to conceive a child together without success, or if you are incapable of doing so adoption is an option for you to undertake that benefits you, your spouse and a child who needs a loving home.
The emotional aspects of adoption are detailed in countless other online resources if you are interested in gaining a window into the lives of adoptive parents and children.
For today’s blog post I would like to focus on the procedures and costs associated with adopting a child in Texas. As with anything related to becoming a conservator of a child you should be aware that there are aspects of the adoption process that can be frustrating, including the procedures and costs of doing so.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan would like to share with you our thoughts on this subject in order to provide you with a base of knowledge from which you can make decisions that will be helpful to you and your family.
Requirements for adoption of a child through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
In order to adopt a child through the State of Texas, you must be at least twenty-one years old. Your financial stability and background will be examined to determine if you are a suitable adoptive parent. This means that if you do not have a history of earning a consistent income sufficient to provide for the necessities of life for you and a child you will have a difficult time in attempting to become an adoptive parent.
References are also a part of the application process. Department of Family and Protective Services employees will contact your closest family and friends to verify your lifestyle, income and habits are conducive to providing a satisfactory lifestyle for a child.
A criminal background check is a part of the process that can catch some applicants by surprise. Crimes involving family violence, abuse, neglect or harm to children will be especially important for DFPS to look for. Also- if you or any member of your household-family has been involved in a Child Protective Services investigation that will be scrutinized as well by DFPS.
Home Study conducted by the Department of Family and Protective Services
The Department of Family and Protective Services will conduct a home study of your residence in order to verify the information provided to them in your application for adoption and by your references.
All members of your household will be interviewed by DFPS staff and all aspects of your home will be studied and inspected. You will be viewed in your home environment at least once.
Attend training that is held by DFPS employees
These training sessions will allow you as an applicant to learn about the harm that can be caused to children by abuse or neglect from parents. Whether you are applying to be a foster parent or an adoptive parent these sessions will usually determine what route is more appropriate for you.
This is typically a stage where families will bow out of the process if it becomes clear that now is not an appropriate time to adopt a child. The responsibility is obviously staggering and these training sessions are intended to allow families like yours an opportunity to come face to face with this realization in an effort to make sure your heart, mind, and wallet are ready and able to take on the responsibility.
The costs associated with adopting a baby in Texas
Now that we have discussed one of the ways to adopt a child in Texas, and the process behind it, we can get into what the costs are associated with adoption. It is normal to wonder about the costs associated with adoption or to have to think long and hard about how you will be able to pay the expenses.
If you can know what to expect and not be caught off guard about this aspect of adoption you will be better off and can enter the process with a great deal of confidence.
For instance, if you want to adopt an older child then this type of adoption will be the least expensive. The DFPS or a private adoption agency can facilitate this sort of adoption. An adoption of an older child will cost you only a few hundred dollars in all likelihood when you go through a private agency.
The home study that we discussed above and background checks cost money and will represent the lion’s share of costs if you do not utilize an attorney to help you in the adoption process.
Older child adoption costs offset by assistance from DFPS
If you are interested in adopting an older child then the DFPS can offer assistance for up to $1,500 in costs associated with the adoption.
There are special conditions that are associated with this reimbursement of fees, however- one of which being that the child must not be older than six years old. Monthly support from the State is also available to these families once the adoption is complete.
Infant Domestic Adoption Costs and Expenses
If you and your spouse are interested in adopting an American infant then the costs of doing so increase. These sort of adoptions are done privately using the assistance of an attorney to locate a birth mother who is wanting to make her child available for adoption. Adoption agencies in the area of Texas that you live can also help you facilitate an infant adoption.
With that being said, the costs associated with an infant, domestic adoptions can cost as much as $30,000 in some cases if you find and locate a private mother who is willing to work with you on adopting her child. If you go through an adoption agency the costs increase closer to $40,000.
Where on earth is all the money going to, you may be asking? The same home studies, application fees, criminal and CPS background searches and attorney fees that applied to older child adoption still are relevant to infant adoption.
If you are working with a mother who has not yet given birth to the child you plan on adopting it is customary for you and your family to pay for her medical bills. A private agency’s employees that help you in your journey towards adopting a child will need to be paid, as well as counselors who will assist you and the adoptive mother both before and after the adoption occurs.
Infant-International Adoption Costs and Expenses
Finally, if you intend to adopt an infant from a county other than the United States can potentially cost upwards of $50,000 though costs do vary a great deal. A huge factor in determining the cost of the adoption is the country of origin for the child.
An international adoption will likely come with some delays which run up the costs as well. Any costs associated with home studies, background checks, etc. increase due to the nature of distance and the difference in laws between the U.S. and the adopted child’s country of origin. Keep in mind you will have to travel abroad so factor in these costs, also.
Consider the following resource as you begin to consider whether adoption is right for you
Bankrate.com – a trusted source of financial data for many national media outlets, as well as for consumers like you and I- has put together a resource that breaks down the costs associated with the adoption methods that we have outlined in this blog post.
Helpful tips on making the process more affordable are also included. You can access that resource here.
Lendedu - has a helpful article that discusses different ways to finance an adoption if you are short on cash. You can access that article here.
Questions regarding the costs of adoption? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Thank you for considering the Law Office of Bryan Fagan in your search for resources on adoption. If you are interested in learning more about this process or have any questions for us please do not hesitate to give us a call today. A licensed family law attorney from our office can meet with you in a free consultation six days a week.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Texas Adoption Lawyers
The adoption process can be daunting at the time. You don’t have to face it alone. The attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan can help you navigate the process and create your perfect family. If you are in the greater Houston area and are interested in learning more, contact us today to speak directly with one of our adoption attorneys about your case.
Our Adoption lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles adoptioncases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.