If you are considering adoption you probably have questions about the adoption process. The following are the most commonly asked questions by adoptive parents considering adoption.
Why should we choose a private agency?
A private agency like the Colores Adoptions can provide a full range of adoption services to adoptive couples. We can locate, screen birth parents and provide adoption counseling for all parties. The Colores Adoptions can also oversee the prenatal care arrangements for the birth mother. We can manage all legal proceedings and make arrangements for relinquishment of the child.
What types of adoptions do you do?
Colores Adoptions specializes in domestic adoption. A majority of our adoptions are semi‐open, but we strive to tailor all of our adoptions to the specific needs of all parties involved. For example, we can manage a fully open adoption if all parties agree to it.
How long is the average wait to adopt a child?
The wait can vary greatly depending upon the preferences of the adoptive couple. An adoptive couple can decrease their waiting period by being flexible and open to different situations such as race of the child, prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs, etc. Please discuss your preferences and comfort level with the staff at Colores Adoptions.
We do not live in Texas, why would we choose an out-of-state agency?
There are numerous advantages to working with a Texas agency. Texas does not have residency requirements for either birth parents or adoptive parents. Agency relinquishment documents are irrevocable. Living expenses, which can help a birth mother in need through her pregnancy, are allowable through the agency. Please call for a more detailed explanation.
What about the birth mother's expenses?
A financial needs assessment for eligible birth mothers requiring assistance will be prepared by Colores Adoptions. In Texas, certain expenses may be paid for the benefit of or on behalf of a birth parent, by a licensed adoption agency. These expenses may include housing, food, medical care and transportation.
Do the adoptive parents have to talk to and meet the birth parents?
In most cases, the birth parents do want to talk to the adoptive parents during the pregnancy and many want to meet with them. The agency primarily does “semi‐open” adoptions which means that identifying information is not shared with the birth parents. The birth parents will know the adoptive parents’ first names and the state in which they reside, but NOT their last names or the city in which they reside. Semi‐open adoptions do not include visits between the birth parents and child once the child has been placed in the adoptive parents’ home. Once the child is placed with the adoptive parents, they can send pictures and letters for the birth parents through the agency.
What do the adoptive parents need to do to get started?
Get started by making a call to Colores Adoptions. We can walk you through the adoption process, step by step.
What are the birth parent relinquishment laws?
The birth mother cannot sign a relinquishment document until 48 hours after the birth in Texas, but this will differ from state to state.
What is the adoption law related to absent birth fathers in your state?
We must address a birth father’s parental rights and specific methods will be addressed on a case by case basis. There are specific procedures established to ensure a legal adoption is possible in situations where a birth father is unknown or unavailable. You may wish to consult an adoption attorney with specific questions.
What if the birth parents decide to parent before the relinquishment is signed?
The adoptive parents are responsible for the funds which have already been expended, but they do not lose the entire agency fee. The agency cannot legally make the birth parents repay any of the support they had been given. The adoptive parent’s profile will be shown to new birth parents and another match will be made in the future.
Do most of the birth mothers have Medicaid?
Most of the birth mothers are eligible for Medicaid, but must follow‐through with a lengthy application process. The agency will assist them with this as much as possible. If the birth mother is denied for Medicaid, the adoptive parents are responsible for the medical expenses associated with that case.
How long is the Home Study valid in Texas?
In Texas, the home study needs to be updated every twelve months.
What happens if we turn down a situation? Are we put at the bottom of the list?
We will continue showing your profile just as before. Remember the birth parents select the adoptive parents; we do not use a list system. All of the adoptive parents are shown when appropriate.
What is the process for birth parents to give up parental rights in Texas?
- There are three kinds of birth parents in Texas: the mother, the presumed father, and the alleged father.
- The mother signs a document called a relinquishment of parental rights. This cannot be signed less than 48 hours after the birth of the child, and it names Colores Adoptions of Texas as the legal guardian of the child. Once it is properly signed it is irrevocable.
- The presumed father is a man who is married to the mother, or was married to her within 300 days before the child was born. He must follow the same process as the mother.
- The alleged father is a man who is not married to the mother, but the mother has named him as a possible father of the child. He can sign a waiver of his parental rights at any time. It is irrevocable for the purpose of the adoption.
Can the decision to place a child for adoption be undone?
Any relinquishment or waivers given to us are irrevocable upon execution. The only way that these documents can be ignored is if the judge finds that they were executed under fraud, duress, or coercion; or that terminating parental rights is not in the best interest of the child. Our process is designed to ensure that our documents will be valid.
What if the birth father is not participating?
- If the father is married to the mother, he will have to be served with notice by the court that we are attempting to terminate his parental rights. If he fails to appear at that hearing then his rights can be terminated.
- If the father is not married to the mother, it is his responsibility to sign up with the Texas Putative Father Registry. This is a state service that any man can register with to be notified that his parental rights may be in jeopardy. If he has not signed up, then his parental rights may be terminated without any further notice. If he has signed up, he must be notified of the termination of parental rights process and be given the opportunity to participate. A man has 30 days following the birth of the child to register, after that we may proceed with terminating his parental rights.
- Because judges understand that most people are not aware of the Registry, the Agency must make a good-faith effort to locate and contact any man named as a possible father of the child.
When is the child placed with us?
- The child will be placed with you immediately after the birthparents have signed their adoption paperwork. Usually this happens at the hospital, shortly after 48 hours following the birth of the child.
- In order to take placement of the child you will have to execute certain documents accepting the responsibilities of parenting, and any legal or medical risks associated with the adoption. Samples of these standard documents will be provided to you once you are matched.
What is the ICPC?
The ICPC is an agreement entered into by all the states that sets certain regulations on adoptions where the parents don’t live in the state where the child was born. It requires us to send copies of the adoption documents to state offices for approval before the child can leave the state of Texas. The process for approval usually takes 5 –10 business days.
What happens after we go back home?
Once you return home with the baby you will be in the “post-placement supervision” period. Unfortunately, you will have to comply with the Texas requirements, which can be a little more extensive than some other state’s requirements. You will need to have several meetings with your home study social worker over a six month period. We will need reports from each of those visits. Once we have everything we need, we can consent to you finalizing the adoption.
Do we have to finalized the adoption in Texas?
No. Although you can finalize the adoption in Texas if you wish, it is usually preferable to finalize the adoption in your home state.
Will the child's birth certificate have the biological parent's names?
No. Once your adoption is finalized in your home state, your lawyer needs to send a certified copy of the decree of adoption to us. We will file it with Texas, and the state will issue a birth certificate listing you as the parents of the child. Please be aware that the State of Texas will not list two parents of the same gender on the birth certificate; there is a space for a male parent and a space for a female parent.