Let’s Talk About Adoption in Texas

Texas is full of the bizarre. I grew up with homecoming mums, a year of school dedicated to Texas state history, “ma’am”‘s, and Buc-ee’s. Like, my parents knew the Buc-ee’s guy. Someone buried 10 Cadillacs halfway in the ground, and people stand in the freezing plains to spray paint the parts above ground. People have so much Texas pride it spills over into arguments over what city makes the best breakfast tacos. From Vidor to Austin, political and religious beliefs run a gamut. There’s a mix of wealth and poverty, the refined and unrefined.  That said, when you see an election map, that huge, red piece in the bottom center — that’s Texas.

I don’t have much knowledge other than my experience and things I kind of know. I welcome you to do research if you’re looking to adopt or if it’s an option for your pregnancy to put your child up for adoption. It’s so important on either end to know everything you can about this decision. Know the difference between an open and a closed adoption, and the laws that protect you, your family, and the child. An open adoption is what you saw on Juno or Teen Mom OG. Neither of which I’d take as a true life experience, but it’s not mine, so I don’t have much to speak on. A closed adoption protects the identities of the birth parents and the adoptive parents from each other. It maintains the privacy of all involved.

My personal advice is to seek therapy before, during, and after your part of the process. Trust me, you’ll need it later and for worse reasons if you don’t jump on it.

When I was young, I desperately wanted to find my birth parents, mostly because my folks would ground me. Then I turned 17 years old, the age they were when they had me, and it clicked. I understood where they had been coming from, and honestly? I lost interest. With an understanding of the strong possibility they may not want to be found, and an understanding of their sacrifice, as well as my parents’ sacrifice, I just wan’t interested.

Almost ten years later, my brother (also adopted through a closed adoption) had been through some health things, and I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. I wondered what else could be in store for me. At that time (2013), you had to fill out adoption registry paperwork, have it notarized, and mail it into the state with $35.00. For some reason, that felt weird. If you went into the registry and your bio-parent had gone into the registry, you had to meet – like some kind of fight club for adoption reunions. That also felt weird. Like, what if I changed my mind and didn’t want to meet them? I don’t get a say in it? I’m sure the forced hour-long therapy session prior to the forced meeting was run by a totally competent counselor who surely had your best interest in mind. Certainly they’d know your intricacies well enough within an hour to tell you how you’d be affected… It all felt weird.

I never sent it in. Five years later, my brother had told me about meeting some half siblings through 23andMe. Then, I got targeted on St. Paddy’s Day and doubled down for the ancestry and the health results. I ended up finding out a lot about myself I never knew, and very quickly finding my birth parents; even though they had not done a 23andMe…

Author: lisa freedrinks

Comedian, writer, actor in Austin, TX