Considering adoption in Texas? Know your options!
Deciding to make an adoption plan, thereby laying the founding for your child to have a life filled with love and stability, is an incredibly strong and brave decision. Upbring Adoption is here to support and guide you as you learn about adoption and determine whether it is the right path for you and your child. We are sure that you have many questions, so let’s get started.
What is Options Counseling?
We understand that, as an expectant mother, you have a lot going on. On top of maintaining your everyday responsibilities, you are dealing with the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy as well as deciding next steps. Upbring guides you through options counseling, so you can make a clear and informed decision on the future of your child. These steps include:
- We will counsel you on the options available to you, how each decision could impact your future and how Upbring will support you on each of these paths.
- We will provide referrals to resources within the community if you need assistance that is not pregnancy-related, or if you choose to parent your baby.
- We will help you navigate involvement of the baby’s biological father in the decision-making process.
- We will help you find ways to communicate your thought process regarding your adoption plan to loved ones.
- Upbring staff will provide an explanation and assistance with understanding the legal process of adoption.
- We will help you identify criteria important to you in an adoptive family and work to match you with the right couple.
- Upbring staff will assist you in selecting an adoptive family and developing a relationship with them.
- We will help you create an individualized plan regarding the delivery process and hospital experience.
- Upbring Adoption staff will prepare all documents necessary for implementing your adoption plan and assist all parties in understanding and completing them.
- If desired, we would love to talk with you about your future, how Upbring can help you move forward in life and how we can support you after your adoption is complete. Upbring is here to support you for a lifetime.
What is Open Adoption?
Open adoption builds a bridge between birth parents and adoptive parents. It is the beginning of a relationship that focuses on the best interest of the child who you both care deeply about.
Today, most domestic adoptions are “open” or “semi-open,” meaning there is some contact between the adoptive family and birth parents. The amount and type of contact is individualized and mutually agreed upon, and the roles between the two families are clearly defined: The birth parents give the child life, personality traits, talents and interests, and their genetic makeup. The adoptive family nurtures and financially supports the child, shapes the child’s values, builds on the child’s interests and talents, and provides the child opportunities to become the person he/she was meant to be.
Why Open Adoption?
- It reassures birth parents that their child is doing well. Correspondence can be exchanged through the agency for as long as desired.
- It gives adoptive parents information about their child’s biological history.
- It gives families a sense of security (studies have shown that adoptive parents in closed arrangements are more anxious about losing their child than those in open ones).
- It allows adopted children and adults to have longed-for connections to their biological family.
- The relationship evolves, ebbs and flows, as the needs of all parties change.
Benefits of Open Adoption
- The child has access to knowledge of who he/she is and better understands why the adoption decision was made.
- The child does not have to fantasize or wonder about his/her birth parents.
- Openness helps to normalize the experience and understanding of being adopted, which helps the child build self-esteem.
- It gives the child both roots and wings.
If you have more questions about open adoption or other related topics, please.
What is positive adoption language?
We often hear questions like “How do I give my baby for adoption” or “How do I find parents for my baby?” Language like that no longer reflects the adoption process today.
We’re here to support and guide you as you decide if adoption is right for you and your baby. If you decide adoption is right for you, we can help you find the right family for your baby. If you choose adoption, you’re not “giving up your baby.” You’re making a life-long plan for your child if you decide you cannot be a present in your baby’s life at this point in your life.
You will always be your child’s biological parent, whether you place your baby for adoption or choose to parent. Adoption doesn’t change that truth. Through adoption, you can find a family who can offer your child the life you might not be able to give them right now. If you choose to parent your child, we can help support you by offering resources and guidance.
How do I know the adoptive family will offer a safe and loving environment for my child?
Each adoptive couple approved by Upbring goes through an extensive process to be presented to you as a waiting couple. This process includes verification of the adoptive parents background history, medical health history from their doctor, financial stability, character references, educational background, employment history, home inspections that include environmental safety and fire prevention, proof of completion of CPR/First Aid certification, background checks that include reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Department of Family and Protective Services and the FBI’s criminal history database and a home study conducted by a licensed social worker in the applicant’s home. During the home study they discuss, both individually and jointly with their spouse as applicable, why they are seeking to adopt, issues with their own infertility, what they foresee in their relationship with the birth parents, and their hopes and desires for a child. The adoptive family will also attend at an eight-hour training seminar on adoption and infant care.
Eligibility requirements specify that the adoptive parents are Texas residents and that they are either unable to have a child biologically, or that they have been advised not to have a child by a medical professional. As a result of infertility, many couples have suffered with the loss of their hopes and plans much like you may be experiencing with an unexpected pregnancy. They have a home and life where they are prepared and more than willing to welcome a child into their home. They also have a strong desire to provide unconditional love and acceptance for a child.
What is the legal process for adoption?
If you, as the biological parent(s), decide it is in the best interest of the child to be placed with another family through adoption, there is a legal process you must follow. Upbring is here to help you through it.
The State of Texas requires at least a 48-hour waiting period after the child’s birth before the legal paperwork is signed. This waiting process gives the parent(s) time to make their decision from an informed point of view. Upbring does not pressure any client into choosing one option over another. If you, as the parent(s), decide to move forward with the adoption process after that 48-hour period, Upbring will assist you in completing the documents stating your wish to relinquish parental rights.
What if the birth parents are not married?
If the birth mother and father are not married, and he has not been declared the legal father, a Waiver of Interest can be signed by him prior to the birth. This document gives his consent for an adoption to take place. Even if he is not currently involved in the decision-making process for the child’s future, Texas law still requires that Upbring, as the child placing agency, makes a documented effort to notify him and gain his consent whenever possible.
Who can help me facilitate the signing of legal documents?
Upbring will facilitate the signing of all legal documents, and the court will not require a parent to appear in person to state their wishes for adoption. Instead, Upbring staff will appear in court on your behalf.
How much does it cost to have Upbring facilitate the signing of legal documents?
All services provided to birth parents by Upbring, including the signing of legal documents, are free of charge to expectant parents.
Is there financial assistance available during the adoption process?
Yes. When you make an adoption plan, your legal, miscellaneous and medical expenses (other than those paid by Medicaid or insurance) are paid for by the new parents through their adoption fees. If you are struggling with your bills because of pregnancy-related difficulties, your caseworker will help you to locate additional resources. Upbring is sometimes able to assist with certain expenses as well. If you choose to parent your child, Upbring does not require that you reimburse the agency for expenses paid on your behalf.
What if I have other questions?
For more information about the adoption process, please contact us at 1-833-80ADOPT (1-833-802-3678). You can also email Director of Adoption, Erin Patterson at [email protected].