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One Church, One Child of Texas

Inquiry and volunteer forms

What is One Church, One Child?

One Church, One Child is a special adoption recruitment program designed to reach out to the minority community. Working primarily through the minority churches, it identifies adoptive families and single parents for children in need of permanent homes. One Church, One Child was begun in Chicago, Illinois in 1980, by Father George Clements, former pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Church.

The basic principle of One Church, One Child is to recruit at least one minority family or single parent per church to adopt at least one child.

Historically, the minority community has taken the responsibility for its own children whenever necessary. However, today many children do not have traditional family support and they become caught up in the foster care system.

Objectives of One Church, One Child

  • Familiarize church congregations with the children waiting to be adopted.
  • Identify families in each church willing to adopt.
  • Educate the minority community about the need for adoptive homes and current adoption procedures.
  • Provide support services to adopting families and children through training, communications, and location of resources.
  • Decrease the amount of time children are in foster care waiting to be permanently placed with families to call their own.

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How One Church, One Child Operates

Currently the "One Church, One Child" program in Texas is located in the Metropolitan Houston area. This program operates in conjunction with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). There are board members of various religious denominations, a One Church, One Child program director or coordinator, and a DFPS liaison. The program has an Advisory Committee to support the mission of the program. This Advisory Committee consists of clergy, foster parents, adoptive parents, and community people interested in children's issues.

Staff and volunteers go into the churches and community to discuss adoption and the need for permanent homes. These persons represent One Church, One Child and serve as liaisons to the child welfare system and the One Church, One Child board members.

Adoption services are offered through the DFPS Child Protective Services program. Full-time adoption staff with DFPS assist One Church, One Child in recruiting permanent homes for waiting children.

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What Does Adoption Mean?

Adoption means giving a home and a family to a child who has neither. It means guiding a child--your child--through the growing years. For the child, it can mean the security that only a permanent home can provide. It also means the love, understanding, and guidance the child needs to become the person he or she is capable of being.

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Myths

There are many myths concerning adoption. Some people think that adoption takes away from their manhood or womanhood, that you must be childless to adopt, or that adoptable children come from "bad blood." None of this is true.

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Concerns

There are fears about adoption that may prevent many people from adopting "someone else's child." Could I love a child that is not of my flesh? At some time in the future, will the natural parents attempt to claim the child?

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Reality

In adoption, the child becomes yours legally, just as if he or she were born to you. You, as any parent, take on the role of guiding, teaching, nurturing, and loving your child to give him or her the best chance at growing up as well as you possibly can. Adopting a child does not make you less of a man or woman. Rather, it provides an opportunity to teach a child your values. You do not have to be childless to adopt. It is true that in rearing a child you take risks, but this is true whether the child is yours by birth or adoption.

Children need adoptive homes not because they are "bad" but for many other reasons--almost as many reasons as there are children. It's more likely that "bad" things have happened to them. Some have been abused or neglected. Some are disabled or may have been abandoned by their parents. Others need adoptive families because their parents cannot care for them. All bring memories of their past which must be respected.

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What You Should Know About Being an Adoptive Parent

  • You don't have to earn a high income, although you must have enough money to provide for the basic needs of your family.
  • You can have children of your own or other adopted or foster children.
  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You don't have to own your home.
  • You can be single.
  • You must be in good health.
  • You can work full-time.

You or your family could have faced serious crisis such as illness, unemployment, or other problems and still qualify.

If you can give a child the care and love he or she needs, you may be an ideal candidate to become an adoptive parent.

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How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Child? How Long Does it Take?

These two questions are asked most often. One Church, One Child and DFPS charge nothing for adoption services.

The time spent in learning about and preparing for adoption varies. On the average, it will take six to nine months. How soon a child is placed with you may depend on the age and sex of the child you can parent.

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Preliminary Steps in the Adoption Process

The following steps generally occur once you decide to consider adoption. A One Church, One Child counselor will be assigned to work with you during the adoption process.

The One Church, One Child counselor will talk with you about adoption and provide information covering such things as child discipline and guidance. Time will be spent talking about you and your family. You will also have the opportunity to talk about the child you think would best fit into your family.

Your preparation for adoption will include 30 hours of group meetings to learn about the children available for adoption and their background. There will be home consultations prior to having children placed with you. A criminal history and child abuse registry check are part of the home study. If a criminal history is found, you will be asked to demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated prior to approval as an adoptive parent.

After the preparation and study are completed, you and the One Church, One Child counselor will be ready to determine which child would best fit in your family.

A series of visits will be arranged between you and the child. This will give you time to meet and get to know one another before the child is placed in your home.

When planned visits between you and the child are ready to proceed, arrangements are made for the actual move of the child into your home.

Generally, the adoption can be finalized six months after a child is placed with you. You and the One Church, One Child counselor will go to court where a judge will declare the child a permanent member of your family.

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How You Can Help

You can become an outreach volunteer to assist with publicity projects in your community. Staff and volunteers go into churches and communities to discuss adoption and the need for permanent homes.

To learn more about how you can help, please call:
Location Phone Web Site Email Director Other Information
Houston (713) 988-2658 Metropolitan One Church, One Child of Texas, Inc. Houston

email

Virginia J. Crook
Executive Director

Volunteer Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                   
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