By Stephanie Cohen, attorney with Holmes, Diggs, Eames & Sadler
Adopting a child can be a wonderful but often complex experience. Prospective parents can be overwhelmed by the process. Parents can adopt through a governmental agency, private agency, or independently. The public agency in Texas is the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (“DFPS”). DFPS has the responsibility to find suitable families to adopt children under its care. Private agencies place children whose birth parents have made arrangements with the agency to find an adoptive home for the child. Agency adoptions involve two steps – first, the termination of the parental rights of the parents then the adoption. A private independent adoption is not done through an agency but is instead a direct arrangement with the adoptive parent or parents. This includes both step-parent and grandparent / relative adoptions.
Depending on the circumstances and desires of the adoptive parents, each type of adoption may present its own unique challenges and issues. No matter which route you chose to take to expand your family, it is important to contact an attorney who can walk you through this complex process to ensure a successful outcome for you and your new child.