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We Want to Adopt. Should We Foster First?

Nov 28, 2022 - Foster Care and Adoption

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When families decide to adopt, getting approved for waiting children usually seems the logical next step. So, why do some families foster first? How would a family know which route is best?


We don't love labels, but the system often classifies families as "foster," "foster-to-adopt" or "matched adoption." Understanding How Foster Care & Adoption Works in Texas is a critical first step in choosing the best route for each family. Having a good grasp on the different ways children can join a family is essential, too.



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Foster Families provide a safe and nurturing home for children while their birth family works toward reunification. They play an essential role by providing kids with a loving family when they can't be with their own.


Foster-to-Adopt Families are Foster Families who have expressed an interest in adoption. They root for birth families and help kids work toward reunification. If the kids become legally available for adoption, their foster parents usually receive first consideration. Adoption isn't initially the goal of the placement, but we change our terminology and call it "foster-to-adopt" when a family adopts children already in their care.  


Matched Adoption Families welcome children who need a forever family. The children’s team works to find a family able to meet their unique needs. When a family seems like a good fit, they receive extensive information before making a firm commitment to adopt. Then, everyone meets several times so kids and parents can get to know each other as they are embarking on full-time family life. They’ll live together and receive support from PCHAS for at least six months before finalizing their adoption in court.


Looking at the different ways kids become part of a family may raise some new questions. In fact, most families want to know what they need to consider as they decide the best route for their family. There are many important topics to explore and discuss. We especially we want all families to be sure they spend time thinking about their Child ProfileHow They Form Relationships and Caring for Kids Experiencing Loss.



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Adoption is a lifelong commitment rooted in trauma. It can completely change a child’s future but requires dedication and hard work. Adoptive families choose over and over again to join the story of the children they vow to love forever. Families willing to invest in self-reflection, education, growth and stretching are bound to find the best route for their family as they listen and discern. 


If you are thinking about adopting, PCHAS is here to help you make the best decisions for your family, whether that means fostering, adopting, or supporting families who do. Connect With Us at 512-212-5700 or fosteradopt@pchas.org or Join an Online Info Session to learn more.




Read More:


What You Need to Know Before Fostering


What You Need to Know Before Adopting





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