Deciding to Adopt

The decision to adopt is something that many parents and couples struggle with for years. No matter what the circumstances, parenting is a life changing decision and so many questions and uncertainties accompany it. Here are some ideas on how to begin the adoption process.

The first place to begin is research. There are plenty of informative articles, blogs and websites online about adoption. You may also want to find a local support group or meeting other adoptive parents to talk to them about their process. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to make the best decisions for your family.

The next step is to speak with an adoption attorney and adoption agencies to learn more about how they can help you. These experts will explain to you the different ways you can adopt and specific circumstances in your state.

After speaking with an attorney or agency, you might want to spend some time deciding which type of adoption is best for you: domestic, international, foster care, open or closed. These different types each have their own set of processes for you to follow so it’s best if you spend time deciding what’s ideal for your family. Again, consulting an expert will help you with these questions.

Once you’ve spoken with an attorney and have thought about the different types of adoption, you should address some costs and, more importantly, how to defray them. Adoption can be expensive but there are ways to lessen these costs, such as tax credits or low-interest loans.

After this, you should choose an attorney to hire and/or an agency to work with as you are now ready to truly begin the adoption process. The process can be a difficult one but the outcome outweighs the frustration on every level imaginable.

Before you embark on your journey, you must be prepared and that preparation will help you handle anything that comes your way as you achieve your dream of expanding your family.

Have a question about the adoption process? Contact us today for a consultation: 817-338-4888


What is a Home Study?

A home study is an assessment conducted of prospective adoptive parents that includes basic information drawn from interviews with your family and provided by third parties. The goal of the adoption home study is to assess whether the prospective adoptive parents have the ability to make a lifelong commitment to providing a nurturing home to the adopted child.

In Texas, the basic elements of a home study include:

  • Personal interview with each adopting parent
  • Interview with adoptive child
  • Observation of adoptive child, regardless of age
  • Information from relevant collateral sources
  • Evaluation of the home environment

The home study process serves many purposes, including preparing the prospective parents for adoption, evaluating the fitness of the adoptive family and gathering information about the prospective family in order to better match the parents and child.

Although the adoption home study process may seem invasive or lengthy, it is conducted to help you decide whether adoption is right for your family and to help you determine the type of child you could best parent.

You can help speed up the home study process by ensuring all necessary information is supplied completely and accurately, and that you don’t delay filling out paperwork, scheduling medical appointments, or gathering the required documents.

For more information, visit Completing an Adoption Home Study.


Do You Need an Adoption Lawyer?

Adoption is a big decision and a wonderful way to expand your family. However, the laws governing adoption can often times be complex and difficult to understand. A lawyer who specializes in adoption can help make the adoption process as smooth as possible.

An adoption lawyer will be knowledgeable on state- and country-specific adoption laws and provide guidance based on your situation, whether it be a private adoption, international adoption or a step parent or grandparent adoption. A lawyer can help explain your rights and enable you to understand your options to make the best decisions for your forever family.

If you’re unsure about how to go about an adoption, an adoption lawyer is a good place to begin the process. An adoption lawyer can help you find an adoption agency if you need one, can file any necessary paperwork, and can represent you in court if necessary.

The entire adoption process can take years including waiting periods, but it can take less time depending on your case. If there are any legal complications or you don’t pass some of the qualifications, the process could take longer. An adoption attorney can guide you and potentially expedite the process by knowing who to talk to and what paperwork to file.

Tips for Choosing an Adoption Lawyer

  • Contact an adoption lawyer as early as possible in the adoption process.
  • Learn about the specific types of adoptions and services the lawyer provides.
  • Choose a lawyer who is experienced in the type of adoption you are considering.
  • Know what the lawyer charges and how the fees are structured.
  • Ask lots of questions and share your concerns with the lawyer.

Have a question about adoption? Contact us today for a consultation: 817-338-4888


Celebrating the Holidays as a Family


The holidays are one of the happiest times of the year, but, for foster and/or adopted children, it can also be a stressful time as issues may surface that don’t bring much joy. Here are some helpful tips to remember when planning your holiday with your foster and/or adopted children:

  1. Help Your Child Understand the Season: Depending on the situation in which your child came, the holidays may have been very different for your child. Take time to read holiday books or watch a good holiday movie that explains what the holiday season means to your family.
  2. Watch for Signs of Holiday Blues: Holidays can be a difficult time for many foster and adopted families. Sometimes holiday memories are the only thing that your child has left of a birth family. However, it can be a great time to bond and create new memories for your child.
  3. Prepare for Family Gatherings: Holiday family gatherings, big or small, can be a tough situation for introducing foster and/or adopted children to extended family. Try to introduce your child to family beforehand and go over basic manners or rules prior to the holiday get-together.
  4. Avoid Overstimulation: Try to keep holiday celebrations low-key and maintain a regular routine as much as possible. Be an advocate for your child by explaining to family members that your child can get overwhelmed easily so that they give him/her time and space as needed.
  5. Beware of the Perfect Holiday Trap: Remember that the holidays don’t have go perfectly as planned to be perfect for your family. The only holiday that is truly perfect is one where everyone feels loved and accepted.

With a little preparation and the tips above, holidays with your foster and/or adopted children can be a joy for all involved.

Article adapted from About Parenting.


Can You Be a Foster Parent?

There is a special set of rules and requirements in order to become a foster parent. These rules are less restricting than many individuals and couples may expect.  Read the basic requirements below to see if you are qualified to be a foster parent:

Age: In Texas, the minimum age requirement to be a foster parent is 21.

Citizenship: In order to be a foster parent you must be a US Citizen, legal permanent resident, or legally residing in the US.

Relationship Status: Foster parents can be single, married, or divorced. Proof of marriage and/or divorce must be shown.  There is no requirement of having had children before. If you share your residence with a partner or spouse you must both become licensed foster parents.

Residential Status: You must agree to a home study before you can become a foster parent.  You may rent or own your residence so long as you have adequate room for the foster child.

Financial Status: You must be financially stable to become a foster parent.  Copies of recent paychecks will be required from foster parents.   These ensure stability and prevent people from becoming foster parents for the state-provided aid.

Health Status: Foster parents must receive a physical exam before becoming licensed, to ensure they are healthy enough to care for the foster child.

Foster parents must also get a background check and take free training classes to learn about abused and neglected children.

There are no requirements regarding religionrace, or ethnic background.

Learn more about Brown Pruitt’s process here.

Based on’s article: Who Can Be a Foster Parent?



Optimism During the Adoption Process

During the adoption process, it can be difficult finding support and empathy from friends who are unfamiliar with adoption.  After making the decision to adopt, many families experience stress and uncertainty when waiting for a match or the official completion of their adoption. However, if you have made the conscious choice to adopt, then you should not let these fears get in the way of a future full of happiness with your new family.

Common worries from future adoptive parents include concern that the potential birth mom will change her mind, fear of never being paired with a child, and questions of whether the process is worth it.  If you are experiencing similar stress, we have some suggestions to help you stay positive throughout the process.

1. If you genuinely dream of becoming a parent, try to imagine what it will be like to bring your baby home for the first time.  Visualize what your life will be like and all the things you will be able to do for your future child.  Even when times are stressful, remember that the best things are worth waiting for.

2. Be willing to accept that some things are not meant to be.  If a birth mother does decide not to go through with an adoption, then it was simply not the right match. The perfect child is waiting for you in the future and he/she will come along when the time is right.


3. Remember that most prospective adoptive parents are eventually matched with children.  While the time spent waiting for a match can feel like an eternity, the chances of having a successful adoption are in your favor.  Using the help of an adoption attorney, like those at Brown Pruitt, only further helps ensure your success.

Learn more about how Brown Pruitt can help you through the adoption process.

Based on Adoptimist’s article: Staying Positive During the Wait to Adopt


Explaining Adoption to Your Child

The idea of sharing a child’s adoption story with them can be intimidating to some adoptive parents. Being open and honest from day one will help make the conversation easier as you build and develop your relationship with an adopted child. Here are some ideas and tips to make discussing adoption easier:

• Be willing to express emotions and details so that your child will feel comfortable opening up and asking questions.

• If you have a relationship with your child’s birth mom, share pictures and stories of the child’s birth family.

• Be specific about why and how you chose adoption.

• Explain adoption as a step in the child’s life, not something that defines them.

• Show acceptance and love for a child’s birth family.

• Speak honestly and try to answer questions before your child has to ask them.

• Ask your child questions about how they feel about their adoption and give them opportunities to express and define their own life story.

This article was developed based on’s Talking to Your Child About Adoption.


Affording Adoption

Deciding to adopt a child is the beginning of an exciting and challenging journey. It is important to keep cost in mind when considering adoption.  The price of adoption, however, should not discourage you from bringing a new life into your family.

If the price seems daunting, there are many options to help finance your adoption, including grants, loans, and fundraising:

There are a variety of grants available to adoptive families.  These grants often apply to certain types of adoption, religious affiliation, location, or children with specific backgrounds, origins, and special needs.  There are a large number organizations dedicated to adoption grants that receive many applications each year, so be sure to do your research before applying. Be prepared when applying for a grant as most grants also have deadlines, home study requirements, and application fees. 

Adoption loans can be acquired from a bank or an adoption-focused organization.  There is also the option on many plans to borrow money from your 401k.  Bank loans can be acquired through a home equity loan or through a low interest credit card.  Some organizations offer low and no-interest loans specifically for adoption. The Adoption tax credit can help you pay off these loans once you have completed your adoption. There are also subsidies available to parents who adopt children with special needs.

Whether you start a bake sale, send letters to friends, or use an adoption fundraising website – fundraising is a common method to generate money for adoption.  With some careful planning and focused effort it is possible to raise money for your adoption, especially when you explain your cause.  Get creative and be willing to use multiple methods like garage sales, marathons, or selling crafts, foods, and services.

This article was developed based on’s Affording Adoption.


10 Tips for Adoptive Parents

Adoption can be an overwhelming time not only for the adoptee, but also the adoptive parents. In preparation for your life as an adoptive parent, consider these ten useful tips for adoptive parents:

1. Be patient and ready to wait.

Adoption is often a pretty lengthy process – it does not just happen overnight. Be prepared to wait a bit before you can officially welcome your child home, but don’t become complacent. Spend the time preparing your child’s room, doing some research, and talking to the professionals about any questions you may find yourself having.

2. Find out your child’s background.

Take the time to learn a little about where your child comes from so that you can begin to understand their habits and other important factors. If you’re adopting an older child, talk to previous foster parents, adoption center directors, or even the child’s birth parents.

3. Keep your child’s new room simple.

Though it may be tempting to go all out in decorating your new child’s room so that they feel welcome, it’s better to err on the side of caution and keep it simple. Allow your child to acclimate to their new environment at their own pace, and consider their room as a “blank slate” for them to really make their own as they settle into family life.

4. If you’re in touch with the birth parents, expect an evolving relationship.

Remember that your child’s birth parents are also going through a lot with the adoption. Set a basic guideline for how the relationship between your child and their birth parents is going to work, but remember that nothing is ever set in stone. Prepare to be flexible.

5. Set up a support system.

From the very get-go, make sure that you have a support system of family, friends and possibly other adoptive parents to help you adjust. An additional family member is always an adjustment, so having a support system set up from the beginning makes the transition much easier on all parties.

6. On homecoming day, keep it low-key.

Hold off on the big “Welcome to the Family” party. A newly adopted child can be quickly overwhelmed with an influx of new people and a new environment. Minimizing the big celebrations at first to better serve your child’s needs.

7. Keep your child close.

If you’re adopting a newborn or a toddler, keep them as close to you as possible in the first few weeks or months so that you can begin to establish a bonding connection (much like the one established between birth mother and child for nine months in utero).

8. Help your child adjust.

Remember that a child’s first few weeks or months with your family may be a tough time as they’re still getting used to a new environment and new people. If you’re adopting an older child, see if you are allowed to send them a small care package that can help begin the acclimation process. The package may include a photo of your family and a small blanket or toy to help the child acclimate to the scents of your home.

9. Give time for love.

You may expect to fall in love with your child right away, but don’t be surprised if it takes some time. Be ready to give yourself some time to learn about your new child and who he or she is – it won’t always be love at first sight.

10. Cut yourself some slack.

Taking care of a new child can be a lot of work, but don’t let your dedication to your newest family member get in the way of your own personal care. Remember to give yourself some breaks from childcare to unwind and recharge.

These tips were developed based on WebMD’s Essential Tips for Adoptive Parents.


Why Consult With An Adoption Attorney

Adoption laws across the United States are statutory and they must be followed to the letter in order for a successful adoption to occur. An adoption attorney is your best advocate to ensure a successful adoption.

Working with an expert in adoption law will help ensure that your adoption proceeds as smoothly as possible. Here are some great reasons to consult with an adoption attorney to guide you through the adoption process:

  1. An adoption attorney is well versed in all of your options and can assist you in making the best decision for you and your family.
  2. An adoption attorney will provide an unbiased explanation of adoption methods and resources and help you develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs.
  3. An adoption attorney will explain your rights and the adoption laws in your state and explain your options if you are adopting a child in another state.
  4. An adoption attorney will advocate for you throughout the adoption process.
  5. An adoption attorney will hear your individual concerns, give you clear information, answer your questions, and walk you through safe, legal choices for you and your family.

These tips were developed by the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. Members of the Brown Pruitt adoption team include members of the prestigious Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. In addition, our firm has achieved the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Contact us today for a consultation: 817.338.4888