I have represented hundreds of foster parents — those wishing to adopt, those ready to adopt and those involved in legal difficulties related to fostering — in multiple counties across Texas. I am a vendor with the State of Texas. This means that if the child you are adopting is subsidy eligible, your adoption will not cost you anything.
Every child deserves to be loved and deserves to have a permanent family to care for them. If a child has had the parental rights of both parents relinquished or terminated, it is the Department's goal to find them a permanent, stable loving home environment without CPS involvement. One way to achieve this is through adoption. Adoption is a permanent lifelong commitment to a child. This information sheet will help you make an informed decision about pursing adoption.
A critical first step in the adoption process is to prepare the child for adoption. An adoption preparation worker will work with the child to understand his/her emotional needs including helping them process any trauma and loss they are experiencing. The caseworker will also help the child understand what adoption means, taking into consideration the child's age and developmental level. Lastly, the caseworker will also work with the child to discover how the child feels about adoption and/or any fears or concerns they may have. It is common for children to be resistant to the idea of adoption, possibly due to fear of rejection or fear of losing connections to biological parents, extended families, siblings and current caregivers.
If a family has not already been identified for a child, the Department will begin recruiting an adoptive home for the child. Recruitment can include registering the child on the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange, having the child's portrait taken for the Heart Gallery, having the child participate in television filming, distributing the child's adoption profile to child placing agencies and participating in adoption match parties. Once home studies have been received, the Department will begin narrowing the pool to identify three to five families that are the best fit for the child.
Adoption Assistance is a program designed to help families pursue adoption. In order to qualify for adoption assistance, a child must meet the criteria of special need. This includes minority children over the age of two, non-minority children over the age of 6, any child being adopted with a sibling or joining a sibling that was previously adopted by the same parents, and children who have a verifiable physical, mental, or emotional handicapping condition, as established by an appropriately qualified professional. Monthly adoption assistance payments and Medicaid coverage are provided on behalf of eligible children who would not be adopted in a timely fashion without assistance. In addition to the monthly subsidy, non-recurring payments not to exceed $1,200 are provided after consummation of the adoption to reimburse families for certain adoption-related expenses. Those expenses include home study costs, attorney fees, court costs and travel expenses related to the placement.
For more information about adoption assistance, please go to the website below. http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/About_Adoption/assist.asp
All children who have been in the conservatorship of CPS are provided with free college tuition and fees. The Texas state tuition and fee waiver provides exemptions at state supported institutions of higher education to youth who were adopted through the Department of Family and Protective Services. Adopted youth must contact an Adoption Assistance Eligibility Specialists to verify eligibility for the Tuition Fee Waiver. The state adoption subsidy staff may also be contacted at (512) 919-7965.
Please see website below for more information on the tuition and fee waiver program. http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Protection/Youth_and_Young_Adults/Post_Secondary_Education/college_tuition_waiver.asp
The goal of CPS is family reunification. I do not recommend intervention into a CPS case where the biological parents have been fully rehabilitated and their home is a safe place for reunification.
CPS often chooses "policy" over the child's best interest. For example CPS may choose to place the children with fictive kin who have no relationship with the child. CPS may also choose to place the child with family that is several degrees of consanguinity from the child's bloodline. CPS may choose to place the child with relatives who knew the child was in foster care, but waited a year to check on the child. These are situations where intervention is warranted.
The child must live in the foster home for 12 months in order for the foster parent to have standing. Foster parents may have standing much sooner if the foster parents have adopted or are in the process of adopting a sibling of the subject child.
Contact me for a no-charge Zoom consultation. I have represented over 100 foster families in CPS interventions. I will not take your money or your case if I believe the case has less than a 50% chance of prevailing.