As Abrazo prepares to welcome a new orientation group of prospective adopters interested in doing Texas adoptions, it seems like a good time to share this handy-dandy Texas adoption guide.
When you adopt a Texas-born baby or child, you also gain honorary bragging rights, plus the opportunity to make Texas your annual vacation destination since you’ll undoubtedly want to come back to visit your child’s birthfamily (and come to Camp Abrazo every summer, if you’re adopting through Abrazo.)
Why Adopt in Texas?
Texas has long been known as one of the top four states in which to adopt, for those who are interested in domestic adoption and who are fixing to adopt newborns. (See what we did there? “Fixin’ to” is one of those expressions you’re going to need to know if you’re headed to Texas to adopt.)
Why is Texas considered an optimal place to adopt? For starters, everything’s bigger in Texas, including the number of women with unplanned pregnancies, who have a sharply decreased number of pregnancy alternatives available to them due to the Texas Legislature’s restrictions on abortion.
Beyond that, though, Texas laws are considered to be “adoption-friendly,” in that it allows the same sort of maternity support as California and Florida (two other) adoption-friendly states, yet offers the security of an irrevocable relinquishment (as does Utah.)
How to Get Around in Texan
Most regions of the state are bilingual, meaning you can communicate effectively in English or Spanish. However, there are some pronunciations you might could need to know, regardless. San Antonio is the Bexar County seat, and that’s pronounced “bear” (like the animal… not “Bex-are,” which will mark you as a foreigner.) This is open carry country, unfortunately, so don’t be surprised to see folks around here packing heat, even in restaurants or shopping malls.
The most popular bread in these parts is the tortilla, an unleavened flour or corn disc, which is pronounced “tor-tee-ya” and is typically eaten dry, or with butter or queso (pronounced “kay-so”,) which is melted cheese. “Chorizo” is a crumbly Mexican sausage and “fajitas” are usually grilled beef or chicken eaten in a tortilla (not to be mistaken for a soft taco.) Meals here are usually served with the ubiquitous French fries or refried beans and rice (if you prefer stewed beans, ask for “charro beans”.) For our Northern friends, keep in mind that salsa described as spicy usually is, here. And be forewarned, also: the delicious-looking desserts you see in Mexican bakery counters tend to be dry, crumbly and not as sweet as they look. (Just saying.)
While in Texas, you’ll learn to refer to one or more people as “y’all” (an all-purpose word) and you might even encounter someone who speaks with the aid of a wad of chewing tobacco. You’ll learn that the easiest place to find vittles after hours is to look for a pink, 24-hour fast food chain known as “T.C.s” (short for Taco Cabana) or Texas’ own, Whataburger (ask for the spicy ketchup,) and you’ll likely make a trip or two to the locally-owned “H.E.B.” (prounounced “Heeb”) for diapers or formula. Be forewarned, though: tourists pay higher taxes for hotels and car rental in Texas’ major cities, to help cover the construction costs of our professional sports stadiums.
You may struggle to find your way around, but here in Texas we “drive friendly” and our freeways are amply-sprinkled with turnarounds (which enable you to do just that– turn around if you’re going the wrong way.) Taking spring family pictures in Texas’ glorious bluebonnet fields is a must-do, but do watch for rattlesnakes. And be forewarned that cell phone use while driving is forbidden in much of Texas, and that the speed limit on most interstate highways is 75 mph (unless otherwise posted.)
The weather in Texas largely depends on the part of the state you’re in. South Texas (where Abrazo is) tends to be hot and humid. You’ll find that shorts and chanclas (Spanish for flip-flops) are generally considered appropriate attire most seasons of the year (just not in church services or court hearings.)
The hotel chains that most commonly offer discounts for adopting families tend to be Residence Inn, Staybridge Suites or Homewood Suites (be sure to call the local property, not the 800 number, and ask specifically about adoption discounts.) These are not the cheapest extended stay/suite hotels you can find, but they’re the most reasonably-priced ones for family travel, and aren’t likely to attract a less savory crowd.
Here in Texas we tend to be straight shooters, so treat our citizens with respect and you’re bound to get the same in return. You don’t want anyone to ever say you were “all hat and no cattle,” so please make sure you keep your promises to the birthparents of any child/ren you adopt here in your Texas adoptions. Texas laws don’t recognize open adoption agreements as being legally-enforceable, but if your heart is as big as the Texas sky is wide, then you’ll surely want to do right by your child and his or her birthfamily.