Adopting an infant is an opportunity to embark on a wholesome journey as a family. It’s the start of a new chapter where every little moment with your baby becomes a cherished memory.
Understandably, hopeful adoptive parents may find this process intimidating. If you’re hoping to adopt a newborn in Texas, we have the perfect guide for you! In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about infant adoption in Texas and help you take your first steps as a new family.
Infant Adoption: What You Must Know
Before selecting an adoption agency and going through the legal process of adopting an infant, keep in mind the following key points about infant adoption in Texas.
Agencies typically handle infant adoptions
If you’re hoping to adopt a newborn, you are better off contacting an adoption agency. Since the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services primarily focuses on handling adoption cases involving children between the ages of seven and 17, working with an agency is the most seamless approach with the least amount of complications.
There is a 48-hour window
In Texas, a birth mother must wait at least 48 hours after the birth before signing adoption affidavits relinquishing her parental rights. As a hopeful guardian, just remember to wait patiently while the regulations established by the state are followed. Remember, infant adoption is an emotional process for all parties involved.
Birth mothers have a right to post-adoption contact
Keep in mind that even after the relinquishment of parental rights, a birth mother has the right to remain in contact with her baby. The terms and conditions of contact and visits will have to be worked out between both families. This is the case with open adoptions, where birth families retain communication with their newborn child, even after an adoption is finalized.
Establishing communication is vital in infant adoption cases. An agency can help facilitate this open and positive communication between birth parents and adoptive parents. Agencies can have all parties sign a post-placement communication agreement outlining expectations for updates, photos, visits, etc.
Steps To Adopting an Infant in Texas
Choosing to adopt an infant is a monumental undertaking and will require a willingness to accept potential challenges, setbacks, and stressful moments that lie ahead. That said, you get to provide a nurturing environment and establish a positive path for a baby’s upbringing. Here are the steps you need to take to adopt an infant in Texas:
- Select an adoption agency
Take the time to research potential agencies that will help you navigate the infant adoption process. Don’t rush through this step in the hopes of becoming an adoptive parent quickly. Look for a reputable agency that will guide you, address your concerns, and establish legal proceedings for a smooth experience.
- Wait for an adoption opportunity
Patience is critical here. After selecting an agency, going through the proper clearances, and completing an adoptive family profile, you must wait for an adoption opportunity. Do note that the waiting period to be selected as an adoptive family can vary. It may take weeks or months before an expectant mother selects you as an adoptive parent for their unborn child.
In general, the majority of families are matched within six to 12 months when working with an adoption agency. Be sure to ask your agency their average matching timeframe.
- Establish pre-placement contact with expectant parents
Establishing contact pre-placement with the expectant parents is a critical component of infant adoption in Texas. The level of communication with an expectant mother before birth will depend on several factors, including the type of adoption and any circumstances pertaining to your case.
If you opt for open adoption, you may communicate with each other via phone calls, emails, and personal visits. The key is to develop an ongoing relationship with the expectant parent(s) to ease any anxieties, establish trust, and make decisions in the best interests of the baby.
- Placement of the infant
Remember, a birth mother must wait 48 hours after the birth of her child before offering her consent to an adoption and relinquishing her parental rights.
- Adoption finalization
After several post-placement visits, typically five for Texas adoptions, your attorney can issue a request for a finalization hearing. A judge will grant you parental rights through a final adoption decree, signaling the completion of the adoption process. This is the final legal step in the process, but the months and years ahead bring many opportunities to build a bond within the adoptive triad and continue ongoing communication with your child’s birth family. This is crucial!
Adopt an Infant With Texas Adoption Center
Adopting an infant is an opportunity for endless joy, love, and cherishable memories. Texas Adoption Center is ready to help your family turn that dream into a reality.
Whether you are an expectant mother looking for an adoptive family or a prospective parent hoping to adopt, we let our families take control of their adoption process. In other words, you are in the driver’s seat.
Contact us to learn more about your options.