Who can be a foster and adoptive parent?
Foster and foster-to-adopt parents and families come in all shapes and sizes. Married or single, traditional or same sex, homeowners or renters, working or retired, have biological children or no children yet...
The one thing all foster/adoptive parents and families have in common is a genuine desire to be a part of the solution. In Texas, there are approximately 30,577 children in foster care. You can provide a safe and loving home for a child in need.
What steps are involved in becoming a foster and adoptive parent?
Generally, the process of becoming a foster and foster-to-adopt parent or family takes between 3 and 6 months and involves 5 essential steps.
Step 1: Attend an informational orientation session with a Texas Child Placing Agency for Foster Care
Step 2: Complete and submit the application and supporting documents.
Step 3: Complete a required trauma-informed training program.
Step 4: Complete your home study.
Step 5: Get approved to be a foster and/or adoptive home.
Basic requirements for foster and adoptive parents and families
- Be at least 21 years old and financially stable
- Complete the application and submit all required supporting documents
- Share background and lifestyle information and submit to a background check
- Provide references of relatives and family friends
- Show proof of marriage and any divorces (if applicable)
- Complete a home study which includes visits with all family members
- Attend trainings to educate on the issues of child abuse and neglect
Additional requirements for foster and adoptive parents and families
In addition to the basic requirements, foster and foster-to-adopt parents and families must:
- Have adequate sleeping space for foster children in care
- Have no more than 6 children living in the home (including biological children)
- Agree to issue only nonphysical discipline at all times
- Allow fire, health and safety inspections of the home
- Make sure all pets have up to date vaccinations
- Maintain current CPR and First Aid Certification
- Obtain TB tests for all household members as required by the local Health Department
- Maintain at least 20 hours of training each year to ensure licenses stay current
Responsibilities of foster and adoptive parents and families
- Provide nurturing and care for children in foster care
- Advocate for the children in school and the community
- Keep the children's caseworkers up to date on changes in the home, school and community. Additionally, inform on any problems, illnesses, accidents or other serious occurrences that involve the children in foster care or their biological families
- Make every effort to assist caseworkers with the goal of family reunification (if applicable)
- Be a positive role model to the children in foster care and their biological families
- Provide life skills training to children in foster care, especially children who are in or nearing transitional age (14-18)
- Provide a permanent home and lifelong commitment
- Provide all physical necessary needs of the children
- Provide all emotional, mental, social, educational and cultural needs
Adoption means the method provided by State law which establishes the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not so related by birth, with the same mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their birth parents. This relationship can only be termed ‘‘adoption’’ after the legal process is complete. - Office of Human Development Services, HHS
Foster Care Definition
Foster care means 24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the State agency has placement and care responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, placements in foster family homes, foster homes of
relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and preadoptive homes. A child is in foster care in accordance with this definition regardless of whether the foster care facility is licensed and payments are made by
the State or local agency for the care of the child, whether adoption subsidy payments are being made prior to the finalization of an adoption, or whether there is Federal matching of any payments that are made. - Office of Human Development Services, HHS
Foster Family Home Definition
Foster family home means, for the purpose of title IV-E eligibility, the home of an individual or family licensed or approved as meeting the standards established by the State licensing or approval authority(ies) (or with respect to foster family homes on or near Indian reservations, by the tribal licensing or approval authority(ies)), that provides 24-hour out-of-home care for children. The term may include group homes, agency-operated boarding homes or other facilities licensed or approved for the purpose of providing foster care by the State agency responsible for approval or licensing of such facilities. Foster family homes that are approved must be held to the same standards as foster family homes that are licensed. Anything less than full licensure or approval is insufficient for meeting title IV-E eligibility requirements. States may, however, claim title IV-E reimbursement during the period of time between the date a prospective foster family home satisfies all requirements for licensure or approval and the date the actual license is issued, not to exceed 60 days. - Office of Human Development Services, HHS