Requirements for Adopt Families (State of Texas)

Basic Requirements

The prospective adoptive parents may be single or married and must:

• Complete an application (staff will assist
• Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults,
you, if you prefer),
• Share information regarding their background and lifestyle,
• Provide relative and non-relative references,
• Show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable),
• Agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members,
• Allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household, and
• Attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children.

The training provides an opportunity for the family and DFPS to assess whether foster care or adoption is best for the family. The family may withdraw from the meetings at any time. There is no charge for the meetings. Foster/adoptive parents generally train together.

Responsibilities of Adoptive Families

Adoptive Parents:

• Provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood;
• Provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children;
• Provide for children's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child's developmental age and growth;
• May become certified as a foster family and accept children who are not legally free for

Can adoptive families provide foster care?

Yes! Adoptive families who are willing to accept placement of children who are not yet legally free for adoption but have a plan for adoption can also become certified as foster families. This dual certification increases the opportunities for successful adoptions. In some areas of the state, a "buddy system" has been developed in which experienced foster families, who understand the challenges and rewards of foster parenting, are available to share experiences with new families and give support.

Steps to Become an Adoptive Parent


Information Meeting


You will need to attend an information meeting in your area where you can discuss the scope and requirements of being an adoptive parent.

You will get basic information and questions are welcome. Our offices in Ft. Worth, Houston and Beaumont will furnish you with this information. Call our toll-free number: 855.948.0500.

Preparation and Selection

If you can meet the basic requirements, you are invited to speak with TGIF staff to decide if fostering or adopting is right for you and your family. You will also be assessed by our staff. This process furnishes you with information about DFPS and the children who come into the foster care system.


Pre-service training is required for all prospective foster and adoptive parents. TGIF uses Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) as its pre-service training curriculum. All prospective foster and adoptive parents must participate to learn more about parenting children who have been abused and neglected and the child welfare system.

You will attend training (PRIDE) at TGIF to learn more about the children available through DFPS and to evaluate your strengths in parenting children.


The classes also boost your knowledge and confidence to meet the challenge of taking children into your home and to be sure you are ready to follow through on the commitment.

What is PRIDE?

PRIDE is a competency-based training program that provides prospective foster families with knowledge of information on caring for children in the child welfare system. PRIDE covers topics such as child attachment, loss and grief, discipline and behavior intervention, effects of abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, working with the child welfare system, and the effects of fostering and adopting on the family.


Additional Training Requirements

The state minimum standards require that prospective foster families also complete the following trainings or certifications, which are not part of the 

PRIDE curriculum: 

• Universal precautions training
• Psychotropic medication training
• Certification in both First Aid and infant/child/adult CPR

State minimum standards also require that verified foster homes receive annual in-service training. Depending on the number of foster parents and the needs of the children in a foster home, the annual training requirements range from 20 hours per family to 30 hours per foster parent.


Family Home Study


A caseworker will visit you in your home. The purpose is to discuss your personal history, family interests and lifestyle, childcare experiences, the types of children you feel would best fit in your home, and your strengths and skills in meeting the children's needs.

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