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Adoption is a blessing. But, the legal side of the adoption process can be overwhelming.

Here are the answers to some common questions about adoptions:

What are the different types of adoption in Texas?

There are several different ways children can be adopted in Texas. All of them require involvement of the legal system in various forms.

In a public adoption, the State of Texas (or an agency contracted by the State) places a child in an approved home. This can sometimes be referred to as a CPS adoption.

In a private adoption, a licensed agency matches prospective adoptive parents with children to be adopted. These adoptions can include international adoptions.

In an independent adoption, the prospective adoptive parents are matched with a child through friends, pastors, or related persons.

In a Step Parent Adoption, a step parent of the child adopts the child.

What is the Cost of Adoption?

It depends. Nobody wants to hear this answer, but the total cost of an adoption truly depends on several variables. If you are adopting through an adoption agency, the agency will be better able to answer any questions about the total costs of adoption.

However, from a legal costs standpoint, The Flowers Law Firm makes a specific effort to keep our costs low in order to encourage more adoptions. Legal costs include court filing fees, preparation of affidavits, preparation of legal documents, coordination and communication with health and psychological professionals required by the State, and attendance at hearings.

In many instances, if the adoption goes smoothly with cooperation and compliance by all involved parties, the legal costs can stay under $5,000.

How long does the adoption process take?

The whole adoption process can take many months. For instance, Texas law requires a child to be at least 6 months old in order to complete an adoption. From a legal standpoint, once a case is ready to be filed and once a child is eligible to be adopted, the process can be completed in a matter of months.

What is the difference between an open adoption and a closed adoption?

Open and Closed adoptions refer to the contact between the birth parents and the child. In an “open” adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents know each other’s identities and can communicate directly with each other. In a “closed” adoption, all communication (if any) goes through a third party. In many instances, a “closed” adoption also protects the identities of the parties from the other.