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How Long is the Adoption Process in Texas?

Adopting a child is a blessing for the entire family. If you are considering adoption, or are about to start the process, you likely want to expand your family as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, adoption does not happen overnight. Additionally, it is very difficult to determine how long any one case may take because the process is dependent on many factors. Some of these are in your control and some are not. Below, our Houston family lawyer explains what these factors are.

Background Checks and the Home Study

You must be approved before you go any further in the adoption process. The agency you are using will perform background checks and certain clearances. The agency will also conduct a home study and provide an evaluation report, which usually takes between two to three months.

Matching with a Birth Mother

There are instances in which a person knows the birth mother when they begin the adoption process, but they are rare. In most cases, families work closely with an adoption agency that will provide support during the process. The agency will also find prospective birth mothers for the family that is adopting. It can take quite a long time before a match with a birth mother is made – the length of time depends on a variety of factors, including ethnicity/gender preferences or geographic restrictions.


Another factor that will largely determine how long an adoption will take is how far along the birth mother is in the pregnancy. Generally speaking, you will have to wait at least two months before the birth. However, it is also not uncommon for matches to be made less than a month before the woman gives birth. After the birth, the baby will then be placed with you for the duration of the finalization.

Finalizing the Adoption

The adoption process is not over once the child has been placed in your care. You need time to bond with the child and another home study will be conducted. The second home study usually happens approximately six month after the child is placed with you. Once these occur, the adoption will then be finalized. In total, the average adoption wait time is 12 months.

Your Own Preferences

One of the biggest factors that will affect how long your case takes is your own preference. You will have a lot of say about the situations in which you would be comfortable adopting a prospective child. These can include:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Family medical history
  • Post-placement contact with the child’s biological family
  • Any medical conditions the child suffers from

It is crucial that you are comfortable with the adoptive situation, so adoption can be the blessing you imagine it. However, remember that the more preferences you have, the more you limit your options, which could make the process take longer. For example, if you want to adopt a girl, you may have to wait longer than a family who is open to adopting a boy or a girl.

The Number of Birth Mothers

One factor that will impact how long your case takes is the number of birth mothers currently placing their children up for adoption. When there are fewer birth mothers, it will take longer for an agency to place a child with you, which will extend the length of the adoption process. If you want to adopt a foster child, but they are not yet available to be adopted, you may have to wait additional time for the biological parent’s rights to be terminated, if they are at all.

The Birth Mother’s Choice

While you have a say in your preferences when adopting, birth mothers have complete control over which family their child is placed with in Texas. Birth mothers usually make their choice based on their own gut feeling, and families wishing to adopt have no control over that.

Remain Patient

There really is no exact answer to how long the adoption process will take. When going through the process, remember that your case may take longer than others, but it may also happen more quickly, too. Either way, in the end the wait will be worth it once the child that is right for your family is placed with you.

Call Our Adoption Lawyer in Houston Today

The adoption process is complex, and sometimes, it is long. When going through it, you need the help of a Houston adoption lawyer. At Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our seasoned attorney can guide you through the process and make it as easy as possible for you and your family. Call us now at 713-225-6200 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.

Last Updated on April 21, 2023 by Mary E. Ramos

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Mary E. Ramos

Mary E. Ramos is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is recognized and respected throughout the Houston legal community for dedication in effectively representing clients’ rights and interests. Mary understands the emotional side of divorce and brings a special compassion to each and every case.

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