Texas Adoption FAQ for the LGBTQA+ Community
Questions such as, do I need an attorney, why is it so hard to adopt, and can the couple change their minds, are common. These questions always make it exceptionally discouraging for LGBT couples to adopt because everything seems like a major hurdle.
Take a moment to have calm down because you’re getting a flash round of answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding adoption.
Can LGBTQA+ Members Adopt in Texas?
Yes, there are not any laws within Texas that prohibit a gay, trans, lesbian, bi-sexual, or another member of the queer community from adopting. There are a few professional organizations that help LGBT members find support and adoption arrangements, but often, people don’t want to go to that extent. It’s fair that the LGBT community wants the same adoption process as any other couple.
Unfortunately, there is some confusion between the challenges of adoption as an LGBT member and the blatant challenges of adoption. Every couple runs a high risk of being turned down for adoption or experiencing an interrupted adoption.
Why Are Some Agencies Allowed to Turn My Partner or Me Away?
There was a less than appealing bill that went through in Texas in 2019 that allows private adoption agencies to approve or deny adoptions based on family values. It’s the sensitive way of saying that faith-based agencies don’t want to adopt out to the trans or same-sex couples seeking adoption.
The agencies that do this, however, are generally within their power in that any business can choose to deny service to anyone. But, when you look back, it’s clear that this isn’t about avoiding business with difficult people, it’s about discrimination. So, this new bill basically allows them to do what they want, but these are agencies you don’t want to work with anyway. It’s clear they’re valuing their opinions over placing children appropriately.
Are There Ways to Find an LGBTQA+ Friendly Agency?
There are many LGBT-friendly agencies in Texas, and although it could be challenging to find one, you certainly can. When looking for an LGBT-friendly agency, you should specifically search for agencies that include information about the LGBT community in their mission statement, values, or at least on their homepage.
Then schedule a meeting and ask them about past LGBT couples or individuals that they’ve helped in the past.
How Long Will it Take for Us to Find a Child?
The length of time that it takes to find a child is always up in the air. You could find a perfect match on your very first folder, or you may spend months and months combing through possibilities. It’s likely that you’ll have someone back out of adoption or change their mind, and that’s devastating.
What people who are hoping to adopt should keep in mind is that this is not a race with an end game. There is no end game in adoption, because when you do finally find a child to grow your family with, then you go straight into parenthood. Enjoy the searching process because it’s thrilling and can last for a while.
How Much Will it Cost for Us to Adopt?
An adoption can range between costing next to nothing to costing tens of thousands. The cost variances, however, are pretty easy to understand and distinguish. For example, a foster care adoption should be relatively low cost, whereas an unlicensed or international adoption may easily run into the $20,000 or even $30,000 range.
The costs of adoption can include the cost of a home study expense. Then there are legal fees which usually don’t exceed $1,000. However, hidden costs can include traveling to see the child, arranging for their travel, and similar situations.
It’s important that that couples look at agency fees as well. The fees help these agencies stay open, but that is why going through a licensed private adoption agency can be much more expensive.
Should We Hire a Houston LGBT Adoption Attorney?
In general, when you’re handling elements of the law, you should get an attorney. When it comes to adoption, a lot of people believe that an agency will do everything for them. The trouble is that many agencies in Texas are anti-LGBT. For this community, it’s strikingly difficult to set up an adoption without an attorney.
When you are ready, involve a local Houston LGBT adoption lawyer and start the process of finding an agency. With so many questions around adoption, it’s clear that people need legal help. The best solution for navigating these unchartered waters is to bring an attorney on board.
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