More than 2,700 children in Texas are waiting to be adopted. They need families who are willing to open their hearts and be family for kids who need one. If you’ve ever thought about adopting, you probably have many questions. We made this short list of What You Need to Know Before Adopting just for you.
Examine Your Motives
There are different types of adoption and many reasons families choose to adopt. It’s important to understand what’s driving your family toward adoption and compare that with the needs of the children. Our Foster Care & Adoption Guides are here for you if you’d like to talk with someone about your family’s goals.
Explore the Needs of Your Community
The Adoption and Foster Care systems don’t “get” kids for families – these systems protect children when they are not safe. It’s important to learn about the needs in your community and educate yourself about the children who are in need of families for adoption and foster care.
Keep an Open Mind and Heart About Who Might Join Your Family
It’s only natural to have a mental picture of what your family might look like after you adopt, but these pictures can be very limiting. Families that are open to children with a range of needs and experiences and who are focused on helping children connect and attach have the greatest opportunities and the most success.
It’s All About the Children
The matching process isn’t about a first-come, first-served waitlist; it’s about finding the family who is best suited to meet the needs of a child, or each child in a sibling group. Professionals who know the children carefully consider each family’s personalities, histories, experiences and skills.
Children Available For Adoption Have Experienced Trauma
Children in the foster care system who become legally available for adoption are in the custody of the state. They experienced hard things before they entered the system, and they have experienced separation and loss of their birth family. Your family will receive trauma-informed training during the adoption approval process and it’s important to be open to learning and implementing these new techniques.
Every Child Deserves a Family
Children that become legally available for adoption from foster care are often older, part of a sibling group, more likely to be children of color and may have medical, mental health or behavioral needs.
Children Should Remain Connected to Their Story and Culture
Every child has a story. Their family, history, cultural and religious background is important. Whether their story is similar or very different from yours, it is important to respect every child’s identity and think about how you will make room in your family to appreciate and honor them.
Adoption Matching and Placement Are a Process
To learn more, read 10 Things You Should Know About Matched Adoption.