Frequently Asked Questions
Commonly asked questions by our Birthparents:
- What are the differences between Open, Semi-Open or Closed adoptions? Can we choose the type of adoption that we are most comfortable with? Yes, each adoption is done to individually meet the needs of each member of the triad. The most popular type of adoption is the Semi-Open adoption, and some can be made more open than others. Some are more more on the closed side, if that is requested. Open adoption means that you have a completely open relationship with your adoptive family. Semi-Open means that you have a relationship with your adoptive family but there are parameters established, which means that some confidential information not shared, but pictures and updates are still given for 18 years and face to face meetings are still an option as long as it does not affect the adoptee in a negative way (sometimes a child who is 3 or older can be confused about adoption, so it is encouraged to allow that child to have a voice regarding any meetings). In some cases, a child is able to understand the situation and the meetings can include them. Closed adoptions are ones where one or both parties desire a limited amount of contact. The agency still requests pictures in case that desire changes in time.
- Can I receive pictures so I know my child is doing well? Pictures and updates are shared for 18 years so that you know he or she is thriving and is happy.
- Do you have a support group where I can process my feelings before, during and after placement? Yes, we have a support group that meets every 4-6 weeks as requested by the members.
- Can I make my adoption plan so I know what to expect throughout my pregnancy? Yes, each Birthparent makes an adoption plan with their counselor, so your needs and requests are made known and therefore can achieved.
- I want to choose adoption, but not everyone supports my decision. What should I do? The decision to place your child for adoption is the most difficult decision one can make. It is so important that you have a support system that will encourage you before and after the placement. One action that may be helpful is to bring the friend or family member in with you to talk to the agency counselor so that there are no misconceptions. Each situation is different and we are here to help you go over your options. Agencies are here to support and encourage, but should never pressure their Birthparents in regard to their placement.
- What are my rights during and after the adoption process? Until the legal documents are signed, which typically occurs two days after the child’s birth, the Birthmother remains the legal parent of the child. If you are working with a licensed agency who performs your adoption properly and ethically, once the legal paperwork is signed the relinquishment becomes irrevocable. A good agency will not pressure the Birthparent in any way regarding placement, and encourage her to do what is best for her and her child
Commonly asked questions by our Adoptive Parents:
- What are the differences between Open, Semi-Open or Closed adoptions? Can we choose the type of adoption that we are most comfortable with? Yes you can! Each adoption is done to individually meet the needs of each member of the triad. The most popular type of adoption is the Semi-Open adoption, and some can be made more open than others. Some are more more on the closed side, if that is requested. Open adoption means that you have a completely open relationship with your adoptive family. Semi-Open means that you have a relationship with your adoptive family but there are parameters established, which means that some confidential information not shared, but pictures and updates are still given for 18 years and face to face meetings are still an option as long as it does not affect the adoptee in a negative way (sometimes a child who is 3 or older can be confused about adoption, so it is encouraged to allow that child to have a voice regarding any meetings). In some cases, a child is able to understand the situation and the meetings can include them. Closed adoptions are ones where one or both parties desire a limited amount of contact. The agency still requests pictures in case that desire changes in time.
- What should we get together for our Homestudy? The Social Workers will need copies of the Application to Adopt, the Family Record Report and both Autobiographies. They will need to see the other documents that are part of the application packet when they visit the home including medical reports, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, etc.
- How much do adoptions cost? Are resources available that can help the cost be more affordable? Adoption agencies typically can charge anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000. The type of adoption you choose may also effect the price. Some agencies may charge more or have a sliding scale system in place. Texas Christian Adoptions has a flat fee of $36,000. Grants are also available to prospective adoptive families and many adoption loans that can help ease the cost to adopt. There is also a tax credit available. Check out my resource link above to see some helpful links regarding this topic.
- We desire to start a family, what options are best suited for us and our situation? Adoption is a great way to add to your family! You can work through a private agency like Texas Christian Adoptions or be a foster parent. There are thousands of children that need a great home to be welcomed into. Foster to adopt programs are definitely less expensive than private agencies, but there may be a risk of relinquishing the child back to the Birthparent. Each case is different, but you can learn more by visiting the foster to adopt site like this one www.dfps.state.tx.us
- How long is the wait? The wait time varies..it can take generally between 6-18 months to adopt. The type of adoption you are looking for may affect the time you wait.
- What if there is a problem that was unforeseen before the baby’s birth? Most Birthmothers’ already have an OBGYN they have been seeing before they sign on with an agency. If they have not seen a doctor at the time they sign on with the agency, then the agency will find a board certified OBGYN that is willing to see them at that stage in their pregnancy. A sonogram and a panel of tests are performed to verify the health of the child. If the Birthmother has not seen a doctor during her pregnancy and no testing or sonograms have been performed, then that situation may be riskier. The agency does all it can to ensure the child is in good health, but there is always the risk of an unseen or untestable genetic situation that may have been hidden during testing.
- What type of contact can I have with my Birthmother after the placement is complete? We promise the Birthmothers updates and pictures for 18 years through something like a Shutterfly account where personal information is not shared but you can maintain some contact with each other. Or if the Birth mother desires hard copy photos then you can send them directly to her through Shutterfly or through the agency. Some Birthmothers request face to face meetings, which are usually done at the agency or at an agreed upon place. The amount of meetings and for how many years depends on how the child is affected by those meetings.
- What is expected once a match is made? Once a match is made and a rapport is established between both the Adoptive Parents and Birthmother/Birthparents then it is encouraged to meet at least once a month until birth.
- What should we expect from the hospital experience? While at the hospital, the amount of contact is up to your Birthmother. Most Birthmothers like to have contact and spend time with the Adoptive Family. There will be times that you may be in the waiting rom and other times you may be in your own hospital room that the hospital provides for the Adoptive Family. There nay be other times you are with your Birthmother in her room. And the agency counselor is usually there to guide you and help with the process.
- Who do I talk to about medical and genetic histories? You will receive a medical and genetic history that is very thorough and filled out by the Birthparent(s).
- What are some things I can be doing while waiting for a match to be made? It is a requirement by the state that the Adoptive Parents continue learning about the adoption process by reading, attending or watching something adoption related every 3-4 months. After you watch/read or attend that event, you would send your counselor something that verifies it so she can put it in your file. You can also baby proof your home and start getting the nursery together. The state and most agencies also requires Adoptive Families to take an Infant CPR and Infant Care Class. Once that is done you can also send that verification in for your file.
- How do I explain the adoption process to my child and/or to my family? There are many books that will help you explain the adoption process at any level and any age, books that are well written and reputable. There are also some books I do not recommend because the information is not validated. I can let you know which books to avoid when we meet! In the meantime, this agency highly recommends letting the child know they are adopted from the start. Adoption is a beautiful thing and allowing the child to know what there heritage is helps them to know who they are. It is this agency’s opinion that adoption should should never be kept a secret or kept from the adoptee. The Adoptive Parents should share with the child their adoption story when they feel the child can understand and comprehend what adoption is and not cause confusion. As far as talking to your family, there are adoption books available to read on that as well. Family support is so important, and it is this agency’s experience that most families welcome the idea of adoption.
Adoptive Parents please email Andrea at Andrea@TexasChristianAdoptions.com
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Mailing Address (PO Box)
401 N. Carroll Avenue
Southlake, TX 76092