Many couples eager to adopt discover that it can be a long, arduous, and expensive process. That is why many are now turning to social media and well intentioned strangers to help them cover the costs. One Houston couple is doing just that and is using crowdfunding for help paying the adoption costs of a second child.
Katie and Daniel Campbell have a three-year-old son, Liam, but after his birth the couple discovered that they would need to turn to adoption if they wanted to have more children. After deciding to adopt, the couple realized that cost was overwhelming. Instead of conceding defeat, the Campbell's shared their struggle with friends and family, and they decided to also turn to the Internet for help.
The couple set up a GoFundMe.com page, seeking donations for help adopting another child. Their goal is to raise the necessary $30,000 to help cover the cost of adoption, and so far they have raised over $16,000. An adoption expert confirmed that the average cost of adoption can be anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000, with most of the money going to support the birth mothers of these children as well as legal fees.
However, the Campbell's are thrilled with the progress that their GoFundMe page has made so far, and they are only one of many couples on the website raising money for the same cause. Turning to crowdfunding to help cover the costs of adoption is now becoming more common, and thousands of couples are attempting to do the same.
Texas Adoption Process
If you are interested in adopting a child in Texas, there are a few steps that you must go through before being allowed to take a child home. The first step is determining whether you are eligible to adopt. The rules and guidelines regarding Texas adoptions can be found in Chapter 162 of the Texas Family Code. In order to adopt in Texas, you must:
· Be at least 21 years old;
· Be willing to complete an application and provide references;
· Be willing to submit to a criminal history check;
· Be willing to complete a home study; and
· Be willing to attend training to learn about the issues children who have been abused or neglected might face.
The next step is to determine whether you wish to adopt from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or a private agency. Private adoption agencies can be found using the state's agency listing website.
In some cases, you must attend an adoption information meeting in addition to registering for and attending a Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) class. This class teaches prospective parents about child loss and grief, attachment, and the effect of adoption on a family.
A home study is also required before adoption is approved. A home study consists of an in-home inspection and interviews with all household members. Issues that are considered during the home study include motivations for adoption, applicant's feelings towards child rearing, family interactions, the home environment, child management and discipline. An Amicus attorney is generally appointed to be involved in the case as well. An amicus attorney is an attorney appointed by the court in a suit, other than a suit filed by a governmental entity, whose role is to provide legal services necessary to assist the court in protecting a child's best interests. Additionally, as mentioned above, a criminal history/background check is generally required to be completed on the adoptive parents.
Once you start looking for a child to adopt and find the right child for your home, you must complete any required pre-placement visits. After the child has been placed, an adoption attorney can take you through the court process of legally adopting the child. Each county may have additional requirements beyond those listed in the Texas Family Code. For example, this is the checklist for private adoptions in one county:
Call a Texas Adoption Attorney Today
If you are interested in adopting a child in Texas or have other questions regarding family law in the Houston or Galveston area, let the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Lori E. Laird, PLLC help. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.