The First Step
The Hope Cottage Foster to Adopt Program serves individual children and sibling sets from 0-17 years of age who have been identified by CPS as likely candidates for adoption. Children are matched with a caring family who has been educated about their needs and embrace them into their family through adoption, not temporary care. Families and Hope Cottage staff work together for several months following placement to ensure a smooth transition and that the children receive all necessary services. To learn more about the specifics of the Foster to Adopt Program, call Hope Cottage make your reservation to attend an upcoming Adoption Open House. For more information and to RSVP, contact Molly by email or by calling (214) 526-8721, ext. 218.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Open Houses are held at:
Hope Cottage, The Rees-Jones Event & Conference Center, 609 Texas Street, Dallas, TX 75204
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Monday, September 11, 2017
Monday, October 9, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Monday, December 11, 2017
Foster to Adopt Families are adoption motivated individuals and couples who are able to provide a loving home to a child who has been removed from their home by the state of Texas because of abuse or neglect. Though a child may come into your home initially as a foster child, the goal is always adoption.
Foster to Adopt Parents must meet the following criteria:
- Be between 25 and 50 years of age
- Both parents must be a US citizen
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal and child abuse background check
- Present proof of financial ability to support a child or children
- Complete 35 hours of training with a focus on children who have been abused or neglected
- Undergo medical screening
- Become certified in first aid, behavioral management and CPR
- Submit to a comprehensive home study that will include you, any other adults living in the home and any alternative caregivers such as grandparents or other family members
Families that fit this profile typically experience the shortest wait to be selected:
- Open to any gender
- Open to sibling groups with at least one older child
- Open to any ethnicity
- Open to children who have experienced emotional and life challenges
- Adoptive families should be physically, emotionally and financially able to raise a child to adulthood; ideally with a strong support system that embraces adoption and its positive effects on the family
While there are no placement fees associated with adopting children from the Foster to Adopt Program, the program matches families with children under the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Ranging in age from 0 to 17 years, these children have been removed from their birth family homes, because they are victims of abuse and neglect. Placing siblings with the same adoptive parents is highly emphasized.
What are the expenses associated with Foster to Adopt?
Families who choose to adopt through the Foster to Adopt Program pay no placement fees to Hope Cottage. Placement fees are covered by a contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Even though there is no placement fee for the family in Foster to Adopt, families must be financially stable before becoming licensed to care for a child. State reimbursement does not cover 100% of costs for caring for foster children, and these costs are passed on to the foster parents.
Legal fees associated with the finalization of all adoptions, whether private or Foster to Adopt, are the responsibility of the adoptive family.
Private infant adoption is a choice for families who understand that they are paying a fee to participate in the Hope Cottage program and benefit from the services of their professional staff. In the current environment, there are generally more families who wish to adopt infants than there are children available for adoption.
What are the fees associated with infant adoption?
Hope Cottage provides infant adoption services on a sliding scale based on family income. Hope Cottage will help you evaluate your readiness to enter into a private adoption contract. Other required pre-adoption service fees include:
- $500 Adoption Education Seminar and
- Home Study fee of $1,500.
- In some cases, there are expenses of the birth mother such as medical or living expenses that are paid by the adoptive family. You will be notified in advance of the estimated expenses prior to being matched with a birth mother and the option is always yours as to whether the match is made.
Books for Adults
Miriam Komer, D.S.W.
David Brodzinsky, Marshall Schecter and Robin Henig
Books for Kids
Carmen Martinez Jover
Janice Grimes, RN
Foster to Adopt Parent Testimonials
Jason and Brandi
Placed in 4 monthsWe are so happy with the results and the process of our adoption through Hope Cottage. Our case workers were responsive, thorough and caring throughout a stressful and exciting time. They guided us through every step and answered our questions honestly and directly. While we were advocates for our children, Hope Cottage supported us as parents and a family.
Placed in 6 months
“I have only praise and thanksgiving for all of the wonderful professionals at Hope Cottage. I spent a lot of time researching adoption agencies trying to find the right fit. As a single professional African-American woman, it was clear after multiple interviews with multiple agencies that some of the other agencies, while reputable and larger, where not the best fit for me.
My answer came soon. A few weeks into August, I received the real call from Lindsay. I was matched, a gorgeous, long eyelash having, cheeky smile 2 year old boy was now my son. I met my son in September and he came home in October. It was love at first, second and third sight, his coming home was all part of this wonderful, sometimes difficult, things- beyond- your-control journey.
If you are considering Hope Cottage as your partner in adoption you will be provided with all the caring, the information, the tools and resources needed on your path to creating or expanding your family. You will be guided, encouraged and maybe even challenged, all steps on the path to a child finding the very best forever home.”
Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall
Dr. Darlene Powell Hopson and Dr. Derek S. Hopson
I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children
in a Race-conscious World
Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall
Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda
Joseph Crumbley, PhD, LCSW
Donna Jackson Kanazawa
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda (3 books)
Matt Kelley Maria P. P. Root
Claudine C. O’Hearn
Gloria Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Michele N-K Collision
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Foster care adoption is the process of transferring parental rights of a child in foster care from one person or couple to another. In most situations, children that are available for adoption through the state have had the rights of their biological parents terminated. The state of Texas has become the managing conservator of these children. Adoptive parents will be assuming parental rights from the state. Legally, the results are the same as a traditional adoption.
In order to become a foster to adopt parent you must be between 25 and 50 years of age. You must be healthy, mature and responsible. You must be financially stable and own or rent your own home. You must have an appropriate amount of space in your home for a child. You must attend various trainings and consent to a home study. You cannot have any concerning criminal history or abuse/neglect related history. You do not have to be married to become a foster parent.
A home study is conducted by a licensed social worker. The social worker will visit your home and conduct a series of interviews in order to assess your family and determine what type of child would be the best fit for you. The home study will also look at the physical environment of your home to determine if it is a safe place for children.
How does a child become available for adoption through DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services?
In most situations, when a child is brought into foster care by DFPS the biological parents have an opportunity to work services in order to have their child returned to them. If the biological parents are unwilling or unable to take the necessary steps to regain conservatorship of their child(ren) then DFPS will move towards terminating parental rights and finding an adoptive, forever home for the child. DFPS also seeks relative placements before finding a non-relative adoptive home.
Children come to be placed in foster care through no fault of their own. Most children who enter foster care are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Children in foster care are not criminals or “damaged goods”. These children require a loving, stable and safe environment in order to grow and reach their full potential.
It is possible to adopt an infant through DFPS. However, it is uncommon for children under the age of 18 months to be legally free for adoption. Families who wish to adopt an infant greatly increase their opportunity to adopt by accepting emergency placements because infants’ rights typically aren’t terminated before the child is 18 months old. There is a great need for families willing to accept emergency placements of infants and foster with the intent to adopt if the child’s rights are terminated.
When a child is legally free that means that all parental rights have been terminated and the child is free to be adopted. A child is considered legal-risk when parental rights have yet to be terminated. However, the judge presiding over the case has determined that it is in the best interest of the child to move toward termination of parental rights. The judge will then order DFPS to search for an adoptive home for the child. In legal-risk cases there is a high probability that the case will end in termination of parental rights and result in adoption.
Once you have been approved and verified as Foster to Adopt Parents, your family will be presented for matching with children in the care of the state of Texas. A case manager from Hope Cottage will present you with possible children to be matched with. You will be allowed to review information about the child and make a decision about moving forward. If you choose to submit your home study for a child then information about your family will be sent to DFPS. DFPS will review your information to determine if your family is a good match for the child.
It can take as little as two months or as long as six months or more to become a licensed foster to adopt home. The length of the process is partially determined by how quickly the potential foster parents work to complete trainings, inspections of their home and paperwork. There is no average length of time for the matching process. Once a child has been placed in an adoptive home, it can take as little as six months or as long as a year for consummation (finalization) to be completed.
Once you legally adopt a child from the foster care system, the biological parents cannot come back and reclaim any rights to the child.
The state of Texas subsidizes most of the cost of foster care adoption. The attorney fees incurred from the finalization of the adoption is the only major cost to the adoptive family. There are also some smaller fees associated with fingerprinting and background checks. Additionally, college or trade school tuition and many other financial subsidies are available to adopted children meeting certain criteria.
If you are interested in learning more about the Foster to Adopt Program and the first steps to becoming a licensed foster to adopt home through Hope Cottage, please contact us at 214.526.8721.