Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Benson Varghese
Adoptions are one of the most rewarding aspects of being a family lawyer. Adoptions can take many forms in Texas, including adoptions by stepparents or grandparents, private adoptions, agency adoptions, international adoptions, and even contested adoptions.
Adoptions involve a number of legal questions regarding the rights of the adoptive parents, the rights of the biological parents, where the child is before and after the adoption is complete, as well as issues that arise when the child is in a different state or even country. These legal issues will also determine what happens in the future if a biological parent wants to assert parental rights. It is important to have a sound legal strategy that answers these questions on the front end to avoid things that can cause disruptions in the future.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month
There are currently more than 117,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent, loving homes. Hopefully, this month that number will be lower.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a nationwide initiative to raise awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for youth in the foster care system. All across the country this month, events will be held to educate the public about adoption and finalize the adoptions of thousands of children.
When did National Adoption Awareness Month Begin?
Now celebrating its 17th year, National Adoption Awareness Month actually started as National Adoption Week in 1984 with the goal of encouraging and promoting the adoption of children, particularly those with special needs, and to recognize the couples who open their hearts and homes to children to create a family. In 1995, the week of recognition was extended to a month in an effort to raise even more awareness and give every child waiting to be adopted a better chance at becoming part of a family. Although people are more informed about adoptions and there are more resources for families than ever before, the issues still exist.
The lack of adoption opportunities can have lasting, negative impacts on the children who find themselves in the foster system by no fault of their own. These children are more likely to experience homelessness, extended unemployment, and poor educational outcomes. That’s why it’s so important for communities, courts, and child advocates to come together and facilitate adoptions.
What is National Adoption Day?
The month culminates on the Saturday before Thanksgiving with National Adoption Day. On this day, the dreams of thousands of children come true just before the holidays when their adoptions become finalized. Since its inception, more than 400 cities have had events and more than 70,000 children have been adopted on National Adoption Day. Last year alone, nearly 5,000 children were adopted throughout the country on National Adoption Day.
On National Adoption Day, which will be recognized on Nov. 17 this year, usually serious courtrooms will come alive with stuffed animals, balloons, and smiling faces as communities come together to celebrate new families.
How does Tarrant County Recognize National Adoption Day?
In 2000, Tarrant County began a National Adoption Day event that is carried on each year. Last year in Tarrant County, more than 65 children were adopted out of foster care and into their forever families. These children picked a stuffed animal of their choice, a superhero cape, a neckless engraved with their new name and the date of their adoption, and a book. The families also receive a framed copy of their first photograph taken as a family.
Adoptions in Texas
Adoptions take time and often involve a variety of legal entities. Private adoptions and adoptions that are handled out of the courtroom can offer a number of advantages. Our goal in these cases is to complete the adoption process as smoothly as possible. In some instances, however, adoptions require effective advocacy and litigation. Regardless of the path the adoption takes, we are committed to seeing you and your family through this time.
Open and Closed Adoptions in Texas
Adoptions can be open or closed in Texas. Open adoption is one where the biological parents and adoptive parents meet and get to know each other. A closed adoption is one where the biological parents do not receive information about the adoptive parents. Adoptions through the state or foster parents are generally closed adoptions.
Agency and Private Adoptions in Texas
An agency adoption is an adoption where either a state or private facility coordinates the adoption process. Private adoption is one where an agency is not involved and the parents direct much more of the process.
Fast Facts About Adoption
One in three Americans have considered adoption, but only 1 in 50 adopt. Here are some other quick facts about adoption.
- 428,000 children are in foster care in the U.S.
- Over half of the children in foster care are 6 years old or older.
- 3 years is the average wait time for a child in foster care to be adopted.
- 1.5 million children have been adopted in the U.S.
- 140,000 children are adopted each year.
If you would like more information or guidance about the adoption process, contact our Fort Worth adoption lawyers. Our firm will handle the legal matters surrounding an adoption so you can focus on your new family. We have been helping North Texans navigate their way through family law matters for three decades. Call us at (817) 900-3220.