Adoption can be a beautiful and complex, yet often misunderstood journey. Many women experiencing unplanned pregnancies aren’t aware of the resources available to them and their rights as birth mothers.
Thankfully, adoption looks much different today than it did years ago. In recognition of National Adoption Month, we’re shedding light on this courageous decision! Read on to learn more about adoption in Texas!
What are the Three Types of Adoption?
When placing your child for adoption, you have three options: open, semi-open, or closed adoption.
- Open adoption allows the birth mother to continue to have open communication with the child and adoptive family after the adoption is finalized. This can range from letter writing and emails to visiting in person, depending on how comfortable everyone is with the relationship. Some birth mothers and adoptive families may even choose to spend birthdays and holidays with each other!
- In a semi-open adoption, communication is managed by the adoption agency. The birth mother may or may not remain involved in the child’s life, but can still receive messages, updates, and pictures from the family, usually through the adoption agency’s website.
- Closed adoption doesn’t allow for any contact between the birth mother and adoptive family. However, the adoptive family does receive a copy of the birth mother’s medical history so they can get the appropriate care for the child if any problems arise.
You get to choose the adoption type that best fits your unique situation. Additionally, your feelings may change through the adoption process. You may initially think a semi-open adoption would be ideal, but later decide you’d like to play a more active role in your child’s life and opt for open adoption. If you decide you want to raise your child, you are free to cancel the adoption at any point before it’s finalized (more on that in a moment). Whatever your case may be, you’re in charge of your adoption plan, every step of the way!
Can I Choose the Adoptive Family?
As the birth mother, you can handpick the adoptive family. The agency may provide you with profiles of potential families that you can explore to find the perfect match. You can make a selection based on factors such as where the family lives, their race, religion, and even their personalities!
Once selected, the adoptive family completes a thorough home study to evaluate their:
- Routine and daily life
- Neighborhood (safety rates and nearby community resources)
- Parenting skills
- Readiness to raise a child
- Financial stability
- Support system (who they rely on in times of difficulty)
Home studies can last up to 6 months. The three main goals of the home study are to:
- Educate and prepare the adoptive families for adoption
- Assess the adoptive family’s ability to provide for the child financially
- Ensure that the child is matched with the family that can best meet their needs
Do Birth Mothers “Get Paid” for Adoption?
Birth mothers don’t get paid to place their children for adoption. However, they can receive financial assistance! Adoption agencies or the adoptive families can pay some birth mother expenses during the adoption process, which include:
- Mental health and medical services
- Attorney or social work services and fees
- Housing and utilities
- Maternity clothes
The exact dollar amount paid is usually limited to what’s considered “reasonable and customary”. Your adoption professional will be able to fill you in on the financial aid you qualify for!
Can I Change My Mind About the Adoption?
As the birth mother, you’re in complete control of the adoption process. You can opt out of the adoption at any time during your pregnancy, even if you’ve already selected the adoptive family.
In fact, the state of Texas gives birth mothers a window of time to reconsider even after the baby is born! Texas law states that you have 10 days to change your mind before giving your legally binding consent to the adoptive family.
If you have any questions or reservations about the adoption, speak to your caseworker! They will help you to stay informed about your rights and speak up for yourself! Remember: If you have the desire to raise your child, you have the right to! You are under no obligation to complete the adoption process.
How Can I Place My Child for Adoption in Texas?
If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption in Texas (or just want to learn more), schedule an appointment at WCRC! We’re here to answer any questions you may have and connect you with our trusted adoption partners, so you can decide if adoption is the right choice for you. No judgment, no obligation, just compassionate and confidential care.
Give us a call at (817) 736-1905 or schedule your free appointment online today!
- Could Open Adoption be the Best Choice for You and Your Baby? Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/openadoption.pdf
- The Adoption Home Study Process. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2020, October). Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/f_homstu.pdf
- Birth Mother Expenses Covered by Each State. Texas Adoption Center. (2021, February 24). Retrieved from https://www.texasadoptioncenter.org/blog/birth-mother-expenses-by-state/
- Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/expenses.pdf
10 Questions You Have About Texas Adoption Laws. Considering Adoption. (2022, January 18). Retrieved from https://consideringadoption.com/adoptions-by-state/texas/adopt/texas-adoption-laws/