Foster to Adopt (Child Protective Services Adoption)
In Texas, the Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Protective Services (CPS) Division manages the foster care system as well as the children in it. Foster care is a state funded system that houses children temporarily and has the ultimate goal of rehabilitating parents - so that birth parents can end up raising their own children.
For a child to be introduced to the foster system, CPS typically terminates the parental rights of a biological parent, perhaps for misconduct, illegal activities, or neglect. When no extended family members are able to step in to take care of the child, the child would be placed in the foster system and live with foster parents; however, once the birth parents comply with the state’s requests, they can be granted custody of their child once again. Foster-to-adopt, takes place when the family that is fostering a child moves to adopt him or her. These families must go through training with the state before being allowed to be considered “foster to adopt” guardians. The child must also reside with the guardians for at least 9 months before being able to assert the foster to adopt right. But, like in all cases, birth parents may work to regain parental rights, which imposes a level of uncertainty on the family.
Independent Voluntary Placement (Private Adoption)
A private adoption is when a birth parent voluntarily places their child for adoption directly with the family of their choice; whereas with a public adoption, the Department of Family and Protective Services take custody of the child and the birth parents have no choice in where the child is placed in the foster system.
Pros and Cons of Each
Adopting through foster to adopt can be much more affordable than private adoption because the state can fund for most of the expenses. While adopting through the foster system may cost significantly less than adopting privately, it may take a significantly more time and may take a significant amount of mental and emotional energy. Children are not removed from care because of good reasons - there is a lot of untreated trauma that goes on with children in the CPS system. Years of watching addicting, horrible habits and a complete lack of appropriate boundaries wears on a child deeply.
While private adoption often costs significantly more than public adoption, there is less uncertainty in private adoption because the birth parents are voluntarily relinquishing their parental rights to the adoptive parents. A private adoption increases the chances of a speedier and easier process, since the mother gives up her rights as soon as she signs the consent forms.