Categories
Adoption Agency or Attorney

Deciding between an adoption agency or adoption attorney? Find the right adoption route for your family.

The process or adoption can be overwhelming. When choosing the best route for your family in this journey, should you choose an adoption agency or attorney? Below you will find many of the important aspects of deciding between an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Find out what kind of questions to ask yourself to help make the best decision for you and your growing family.

Adoption Agency or Attorney?

Attorneys and agencies in Texas can provide services for placement and during the adoption process. Typically, agencies will be a “full service” provider as they will complete the necessary home study for you to adopt and the post-placement visits. However, attorneys can have resources for the family to accomplish this also. Finding agencies and attorneys to discuss their services throughout this process is a great way to figure out what will work best for you.

Domestically or Internationally? 

Caring Adoptions oversaw many international adoptions until 2012, when the laws changed requiring agencies to be HAGUE compliant, per the Universal Accreditation Act.

Today, Caring Adoptions participates in domestic adoptions exclusively. Deciding which is best for you could depend on various parameters, such as age range and are you willing to travel to another country to complete an adoption. 

National Agency or a Local Agency? 

There are positives to both options. 

National agencies may have offices in different states, work throughout the United States, and can find a match in any state. Typically, this means you will be traveling for your child’s placement and staying in that state until ICPC (Interstate Compact on Placement for Children) regulations and requirements have been met in both states. 

Local agencies, like Caring Adoptions, with just one location in Houston, Texas, work just in Texas for placements; however, we have families from all over the US. 

Unlike national agencies that sometimes work with hundreds of families, Caring Adoptions works with a small number of families to offer one-on-one support ensuring they can reach us with any questions or concerns throughout their process.

Foster Care or Straight Adoption?

Many children in the foster care system need a loving family. Adoptions through foster care can mean that you could adopt a sibling group or adopt a child of any age. Foster care adoptions are often funded through the state, and at times there are little to no fees for the adopting family. 

Private adoptions (not through the foster care system) are usually infants as birthparents voluntarily relinquish their parental rights. 

Foster care adoptions are typically a case of involuntary relinquishment of parental rights. Of course, this is not the case for all adoptions. 

At this time, Caring Adoptions caters to birthparents that are voluntarily relinquishing their rights and do not have a contract with CPS for foster care placements.

These are important questions to ask yourself before deciding if an agency or attorney is right for you. Regardless of what you choose, you want to be happy in your decision as they will be the ones who guide you through your adoption process and be a means of support. 

These are all great options, and we wish you the best on your adoption journey!

Categories
Adoption Open Adoption

Thinking about an Open Adoption?

Family on the beach

Open adoptions have become more common in recent years than they ever have been before. However, open adoptions can sometimes still be a scary thought when navigating between the birth family and adoptive family. Both parties want to have the best possible outcome for the child while also making sure it is healthy. At times, you may feel like you are not doing enough or that you are giving more than the other party. So how can you have a healthy open adoption for your child?

1. Get to know them
Get to know the birth family or the adoptive family before placement. This can set the stage for an ongoing relationship. Spend time talking on the phone and possibly have visits prior to placement. Tell each other what you want and would hope for later on. Possibly find out why they chose you.

2. Communication
Just like in any relationship, you want to make sure you are communicating your wants and wishes. If you want to have visits with the child after placement, it is important to say that. After that, work with the family or case worker to set up times/days that work for all parties (after placement and prior to, if able to). If you feel something is wrong or unsafe, communicate this with the other party. Communicate what works and what does not.

3. Honesty
Things come up when a visit can’t happen, you are not ready for the visit, or possibly the child is old enough to make that decision and has decided they are not ready. Being honest is important to let the other parities know when/if you are ready to have that visit. Not only that but also to make sure you are in a place for that visit. Things change over time and if you are not in a place where it would be healthy or safe, it might have to wait for a later date.

4. Boundaries
I often find myself preaching this one to many of my clients. I have had clients that have gone hours out of their way to pick up a birthmother just to have a visit. If this is you and you are fine with that great, but if you feel that you are doing a majority of the work for the visit and the other party is not putting in effort that could be a problem. Often in relationships that have no boundaries, one person might find themselves getting taken advantage of and that could lead to resentment. Working out a plan for the visit or for the communication from the start can make sure that no one’s boundaries are being crossed and it sets those expectations early on. 

5. Other means of contact
Open adoption does not just mean visits. At times, visits are not possible, but sharing the love you have for that child through photos, letters, emails, etc. can also be a great way to connect and stay in contact over time. There are now so many options with technology to stay in touch.

In the end it is about what is safe and healthy for the child. I have heard from many families in open adoptions that the other party is just like an extension of their family and it just means more people to love their child. However, there might be times you might need professional help to navigate that relationship even with other family members, and that’s ok.

Written by Valerie Ortega.

Valerie is a Licensed Professional Counselor- Associate, supervised by Shawna Munson, MA, LPC-S, and when she is not working for Caring Adoptions, she is do therapy sessions with clients at Restoring Hope Counseling. If you are interested in seeking therapy, please visit the following page: https://www.rhchouston.com/team-valerie and set up an appointment with her today

Are you pregnant and in crisis? Do you need a safe place to stay? We want to help!  Contact us today!

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