Here’s an easy guide to how adoption works here at Abrazo. (This isn’t meant to suggest that adoption is easy, though. It’s not a simple thing, to decide to place a child or to adopt a baby.)
Chances are, adoption is not as complicated as it may seem? Abrazo’s staff are experts at helping people just like you through the adoption process. (We’ve been doing it successfully here for more than 25 years, after all!)
We believe in empowering people to do the best adoptions possible, in ways that they’ll feel proud of for years to come.
What Does an Adoption Agency Do?
How adoption works at Abrazo is that we help parents who need to place and people who want to adopt learn about all their options and alternatives. Our agency holds quarterly weekend orientation for people who want to adopt. We also hold weekly support group meetings for those who are placing or have placed.
Abrazo coordinates services for expectant moms who need things like prenatal care, counseling or housing. We arrange for Medicaid or financial help with pregnancy-related living expenses.
We do background checks, homestudies and post-placement visit for adopting parents. Abrazo helps match prospective birthparents with approved adoptive couples. Then we help everyone build a relationship that will continue long after each adoption is completed.
Our agency offers ongoing guidance and support for anyone who is placing a baby for adoption or adopting a child. We prepare them for how adoption works, and help them understand what adoptees need.
Abrazo becomes the legal guardian for children being adopted, and watches over them between placement and finalization. Then we continue to offer services and support to adoptees, birthfamilies and adoptive parents for months and years afterwards. That’s how adoption works here.
What Does a Prospective Birthparent Do?
When a prospective birthparent contacts Abrazo about placing, we ask them to meet with us to review all their options and alternatives.
Adoption can be a wonderful choice but it’s not necessarily right for everyone, of course. As an ethical agency, we want to ensure that people make informed decisions, and that we point them in the right direction if adoption is not best for them.
We try to see placing clients weekly, because we truly care about how they’re doing and what they need. Our staff can help scheduled needed appointments, arrange rides and provide counseling. Abrazo sets up babysitters when expectant moms need to go to the hospital. We even do adoption education with others, too, upon request (like boyfriends or your other kids or grandparents, etc.)
At Abrazo, we encourage placing parents to look over waiting family profiles. We let them interview prospective adoptive families. Our goal is to help them make their own best choice about where they want their child to grow up.
There’s some general paperwork that can be done to set up a file in advance. But how adoption works in Texas is that the legal documents, called “relinquishments,” cannot be signed until a child is at least 48 hours old. That’s when everything becomes official (and final, since in Texas, there’s no grace period or “reclaim” option.)
After placement, the Abrazo staff continues to check in with the birthparents, to offer emotional support and to help them get back on their feet. Abrazo’s post-adoption counseling available free of charge, for as long as needed (and yes, this means over the years after the placement is completed.)
What Do Adopting Parents Do?
If you’re finished with infertility treatments and ready to move on to adoption, you fill out Abrazo’s AP Inquiry (preapplication) form. You can download it right here, complete and submit it. Then the full application is sent, and once approved, you’re invited to an orientation weekend.
After orientation, if accepted, you have ten (10) days to decide if you’re ready to come aboard with our agency. Those who are ready get a homestudy completed. They prepare an adoption profile, and then they start talking with prospective birthparents.
Abrazo’s adopting parents are required to do quarterly homework, to help them get ready for parenthood. Once matched, they spend time with the prospective birthfamily, to help everyone get better acquainted. Still, they know the placing parents have a big decision to make. No match is ever a guarantee of placement; everything is subject to change until relinquishment has occurred.
Once placement has happened, Abrazo supervises the adopting family for 6-18 months. They submit monthly reports and keep in touch with the birthfamily. Caseworkers visit their home often, for months, to see how the child and family is doing.
Once it’s been proven that the child is thriving in the adoptive home, Abrazo waives guardianship and legally clears the family for the adoption hearing. This is when the adoptive family finalizes their adoption in the courts of Bexar County. Abrazo still offers ongoing post-adoption support, as needed, even after the adoption is complete.
Ready to Get Started?
There are many other tasks that licensed agencies complete, of course, like Interstate Compact and searching for missing legal fathers, obtaining original birth certificates, reuniting lost adoption relatives, or arranging foster care options, and so on.
In the simplest terms, though, this is how adoption works, in a licensed program like Abrazo. It enables a child to go from one home to another safely. And it provides transparency and connectivity, using best practice standards.
If you have been wondering how adoption works and now feel ready to take the first step, call Abrazo: 1-800-454-5683. We’re ready to help you find out how adoption works for you.