The Family to Family Adoption Process
1) You will need an application on file with our agency.
If you received a printed adoption packet, an application is included in it. You may also download an application from our website under adoptive family forms. Select the appropriate form, complete it, and return it to our office with your check for the application fee. Be sure to include copies of your drivers license, birth certificate, floor plan of your home, pictures of the front and back of your home, proof of medical insurance and proof of income with the application as indicated on the form. This will signal your entrance into our program and the first step towards a new baby.
2) You will need a home study.
You must have a home study completed prior to being accepted into our program. If you live in Texas and have not identified a home study agency or licensed social worker, call our office. We perform home studies, but can refer you to a reputable social worker in your area. If you are not using Family to Family as your home study provider, please make copies of or have your licensed social worker mail along with the completed home study all of the supporting documents such as medical letters, employment verification, reference letters, etc.
An FBI check and criminal and child abuse background check will be completed for all of our adoptive families. Fingerprint cardsare required to do a FBI background check. The State of Texas’ adoption standards require that all adoptive families undergo a FBI background check. You may have done the same for your home study agency, but Texas requires that we have it done through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. We will mail you the specific type of fingerprint cards required if you reside outside of the State of Texas. You will have your fingerprints put on the cards by the police department or other authorized fingerprinting agency and return the cards to us for processing through TDFPS. Texas families will received instructions on how to do their fingerprinting electronically. Once you have the fingerprints completed the results will be sent to our office.
See more information about the home study process.
After we have received your home study recommending you for adoption, your criminal background check and child abuse clearances or your FBI background check has been received by us and you have been accepted into our program, you should submit the following documents (found under adoptive family forms):
1. Child Placement Contract signed by both parties
2. Fee schedule signed by both parties
3. Letter of Understanding that has been signed and notarized
4. Adoptive Family Worksheet
5. Your check for the initial payment of the agency fee (this is found on the Fee Schedule)
Fam2Fam is here to help you through these documents.
3) You will develop your adoptive family profile.
This usually includes a letter of introduction to the birth mother, stories and pictures. This is the tool we use to present your family to our birth mothers, so it needs to be done well. For tips and guidelines to creating your profile, visit our article Creating Your Adoptive Family Profile. Family to Family is available to review your profile and provide suggestions when requested. We will need 10 copies and will return all that are not used.
4) You are now on our Active Adoptive Parent List.
We do not work on a waiting list, only an active list. When a birth mother meets your criteria as stated in the Adoptive Family Worksheet and you meet her criteria, we will present your profile to her for matching.
5) Check on the status of your adoption process.
While you are an active client of Family to Family you may check on your file’s status electronically from the convenience of your home computer. Call our office to find out what your username and password is for our CTK system, www.ctkodm.com/ffas . Using this network, you may find out if there are any documents needed to complete your file or when your profile was shown to a birth mother.
6) You are matched with a birth mother.
When a birth mother choose to consider your profile, we like to have you talk on the telephone and begin to determine if this is something in which you and the birth mother want to continue. If you both want to continue with the process, Fam2Fam will schedule a meeting and attend it with you. If you and the birth mother both agree to match then you will sign an adoption plan. An adoption plan indicates that the birth mother has chosen you as the adoptive family and you have agreed to match. The adoption plan also includes the post placement contact that you have agreed upon with your birth mother. After the initial meeting, you and your birth mother will continue to develop a relationship prior to the birth of your child. Be sure to take lots of pictures for your baby’s album.
7) You attend the birth of the baby.
You will travel to where you child is being born and in most of our placements, the adoptive family is invited by the birth mother to be in the delivery room. About 70% of our placements are here in the Houston area.
8) You will take your new infant home from the hospital.
After the baby has been released from the hospital and its birth parents have relinquished their parental rights, you may take the child from the hospital. A Family to Family staff member will accompany you. At that time you will be given documents to sign that will enable your insurance company to cover the child as if you gave birth to her. If you reside outside the state of Texas or your child is born in a different state from which you reside, we will complete the Interstate Compactrequirements and notify you when you may return home with your child.
9) Post Placement supervision.
Family to Family will contact your home study agency as well as give you instructions about Texas requirements for post placement reports to be completed during the six (6) months wait before you can finalize your adoption as per Texas legal statute. The State of Texas requires five post placement visits before the consent to finalization can be signed.
10) Finalization of your adoption.
Texas has no residency clause in its adoption laws. If you reside in Texas or even if you reside in another state, you are free to finalize your adoption in Texas after the child has been in your home for 6 months and your post placement supervision has been complete.
The staff at Family to Family looks forward to working with you to complete or create your family through adoption. Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have about the adoption process, agency policies or the rules and regulations governing adoptions in Texas.