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How to Prepare for Adoption

James P. Peterson Attorney at Law Feb. 24, 2022

Young Man Playing with Little Girl OutdoorsPreparing for adoption is a significant step in every adoptive parent’s life. It is normal to feel nervous and excited at the same time. After all, becoming a parent is a huge and life-changing responsibility.

If you are considering adoption, there are certain steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your home. James P. Peterson, an experienced adoption attorney, can help you explore your options for adoption and guide you through every step of adopting a child. His law firm, James P. Peterson Attorney at Law, proudly serves clients in and around San Antonio, Texas, as well as Boerne and New Braunfels.

Explore Your Adoption Options in Texas

Adoption is when an adult assumes the parenting of a child who is not biologically related to them. When adoption occurs, it permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the adopted child’s biological parents to his or her adoptive parents. There are many reasons why people consider becoming adoptive parents. For some, adoption is an opportunity to raise children they would not have otherwise due to infertility, medical conditions, or other reasons.

No matter what your reason for adoption is, you need to know your options before you move forward. In Texas, there are three ways to adopt a child:

  1. Domestic infant adoption. This type of adoption involves babies born within the United States and adopted by individuals who live in the United States. Domestic infant adoption refers to the voluntary and permanent placement of a baby in the U.S.

  2. Foster care adoption. This type of adoption involves children in foster care and can happen after the court-ordered termination of the child’s biological parents’ rights.

  3. International adoption. As its name implies, international adoption involves the adoption of children from other countries. This type of adoption leads to the permanent placement of a child from another country with a parent or family in the U.S.

If you are considering adoption, speak with an experienced adoption attorney in your state to determine which option best fits your particular situation.

Understand Texas Requirements for Adoption

Requirements for adoption differ from one state to another, which is why it is essential to understand adoption requirements in your state when preparing to become an adoptive parent. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the following are requirements for adoption in Texas:

  • Be single or married

  • At least 21 years of age

  • Have financial stability

  • Show proof of marriage or divorce

  • Be responsible and mature

  • Fill out an adoption application form

  • Provide relative and non-relative references

  • Complete adoption home study requirements

  • Be willing to disclose information about your lifestyle and background

  • Be willing to submit to criminal background and neglect/abuse checks

If you have questions about the requirements for adoption in Texas, consider speaking with a knowledgeable adoption attorney.

Prepare for Adoption-Related Expenses

The cost of a private, domestic adoption varies greatly from state to state. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, the cost of adoption through a private agency can be anywhere between $20,000 and $45,000. The cost of adoption through a public agency, on the other hand, is nominal. Adoption-related expenses also include the cost of making modifications to your home, including child-proofing the home, purchasing fire extinguishers, and completing other home study requirements.

Choose an Adoption Agency?

There are thousands of adoption agencies to choose from, which makes choosing so difficult. If you are looking for an adoption agency, reading online reviews and testimonials may be a good place to start your search. When you get in touch with adoption agencies, ask questions about the agency’s costs and fees, the adoption requirements, the estimated time it will take to adopt, home study requirements, and others.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

As a skilled adoption attorney in San Antonio, Texas, James P. Peterson assists hopeful parents with every aspect of the adoption process. Because he is not an Adoption Agency, his fees are much less than an agency's fees. However, only an Agency or a parent may place a child with an adoptive parent, and only an Agency can funnel your money to the birth mother as prenatal support. An experienced attorney on your side can help you prepare the necessary paperwork, draft documents, and take all other steps to prepare for adoption. James P. Peterson Attorney at Law also handles adoption cases in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Boerne, and the neighboring counties. Schedule a case review today to discuss how to start the adoption process.