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 everything you fill out, which includes the Application to Adopt, the Family Record Report and both Autobiographies, medical reports, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, etc. The social worker will make contact with you prior to the visit to share with you what they will need for the visit.
How much do adoptions cost? Are resources available that can help the cost be more affordable?
Adoption agencies typically can charge anywhere between $25,000 to $45,000 for their placement fee. The type of adoption you choose may also effect the price. Some agencies may charge more or have a sliding scale system in place. Grants can be available to prospective adoptive families and 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 and is there something we can do while we wait?
The wait time varies..it can take generally between one to three years to adopt. There are other factors that can affect the wait time such as the type of match they are looking for. For instance, if they are desiring a specific gender or ethnic background, that could affect the time one waits because the agency is having to show your photo book to Expecting Mothers that fulfill that particular profile. I would suggest to join adoption support groups (Tapestry has a great group), connect with other adoptive parents that have adopted to gain support and wisdom from them. I know many adoptive families that are happy to support you on your adoption journey. If you are signed on with us you can also join TCA’s private adoptive parent support group on Facebook.
What if there is a problem that was unforeseen before the baby’s birth?
Most Expecting Mothers’ that sign on 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 all our 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 Birthmother 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 Expecting mother then it is encouraged to meet at least once a month until birth. The Expecting Mother may also invite all of us to her OBGYN visits.
What should we expect from the hospital experience?
While at the hospital, the amount of contact is up to your Expecting Mother/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 may 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. Please remember every hospital is different and may have different policies we will have to follow. In addition, they will have their own Covid policies.
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. Another important note is the language of adoption. When an Expecting Mother decides on adoption for her child we will say she is “placing” her child for adoption – not “giving up” for adoption. The word “placing” is more descriptive and is a more accurate description of what she is doing. The words “giving up” is a very negative description to the sacrifice she is making.
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.