Now that you have made the decision to adopt a child, you are likely restless, wanting to know how long it is going to take before you have that baby in your arms. There are many factors to consider when estimating how long it will take, but at Gaydos Duffer, we try to analyze various factors and come up with a reasonable estimated timeline for the completion of the process.
Factors That Affect the Timeline
If you are considering adoption, you must first be approved to adopt through what is commonly referred to as the home study process. Your home study must be completed by a licensed social worker, or adoption agency, and can routinely take six to eight weeks to complete. You will not be able to begin your adoption journey without first having an approved home study.
Now that your home study is complete, there are many factors that can affect the timeline of when a baby is placed in your home. Once you begin your adoption journey, we recommend telling everyone you know that you are interested in adopting. Often times, a birth family may be found simply through word of mouth. Though there are no guarantees, letting your friends and family know that you are interested in adopting, can definitely increase your chances of an adoptive placement happening sooner than it would otherwise.
It is not unusual that when working with an adoption agency, you are placed on a waiting list with other families that could take up to a year or longer for a baby to be placed in your home. Whether working with an adoption agency, or with our firm in a private adoption, the timeline of your adoption journey will depend greatly on your desires in a birth family and/or the background of your birth family.
Birth families have diverse backgrounds that can range from medical or psychological issues, incomplete or unknown genetic histories, substance abuse, issues with the law, and even poverty. The more open you can be with a birth family’s background, the greater the opportunities are for you to match with a birth mother. In turn, the more restrictive you are, the longer your journey could take.
For example, specifying the gender of a child is just one factor that could prolong your adoption journey. Depending on the stage of the birth mother’s pregnancy, or her willingness to know, the gender of the baby may not be known to her. By specifying gender, you may rule out the opportunity of even being presented to a potential birth mother. Additionally, the background of a birth family plays a significant role in how long your process could take. For example, Native American or ICWA issues, or the unknown whereabouts of a biological parent, could also factor into the timeline of your process.
Now that you and your baby are home, the next step is terminating the parental rights of the birth parents. In Texas, this process usually takes place within the first two months of the baby’s life. Next, you and your family will participate in post-placement supervision that must be conducted by a licensed social worker. This process is completed within the first six months of the baby’s life.
Now it’s time to finalize your adoption. In Texas, it generally takes between six to seven months from the time of placement for the adoption to be final. The final adoption hearing takes place in front of a Judge, and is often a celebration with your friends and family in attendance. Like Gaydos Duffer, Judges welcome the celebration and the opportunity to share in this memorable day with you.
Gaydos Duffer has over 15 years of helping clients build their families. Let us help you navigate through the adoption process to ensure that all legal requirements are followed and that your rights are protected. Whether you are a birth mother in need of legal representation, or a prospective adoptive parent who has identified a birth family for a private adoption, contact us at Gaydos Duffer for assistance.