Buckner is a licensed foster care provider and adoption agency that offers opportunities to serve children through international adoption (Honduras), domestic infant adoption, foster care, foster-to-adopt, and Texas Waiting Children. Their services are primarily for residents of Texas, with office locations in Amarillo, Beaumont, Conroe, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Longview, Lubbock, Lufkin, Midland, and Mission.
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Rank Chart
Fees
Waiting Time
Our Score
#1
$20k-30k
2-3 Years
8.1
#2
$5k - 30k
Up to 2 years
8.1
#3
$26k - 50k
1-12 Months
7.9
#12
buckner
Up to $44k
4-61 mnths
6.5

The Good

Domestic Programs

Buckner facilitates domestic infant adoption on a small scale (they placed 11 children in 2014) but serves hundreds each year through their other programs. Waiting Texas Children provides permanent homes for children in foster care whose parents’ rights have been terminated. These children are available for adoption through Child Protective Services. Many are older children and teenagers or in a sibling group. In foster-to-adopt, a child resides with a family in the foster care system and can then be adopted by them.

Honduras Process

The adoption of a child from Honduras involves the following steps:

  • Preliminary application
  • Pre-adoption workshop
  • Formal application
  • U.S. citizenship and immigration services
  • Home study and dossier
  • Child referral and assignment
  • Parent education
  • Child arrival*
  • Post-placement supervision
  • Finalization
  • U.S. citizenship

*Adoptive parents must take six weeks adoption leave from work after the child comes home to facilitate bonding and attachment (can be split between spouses).

Wait Times

Wait times are extremely short for Texas Waiting Children, foster care, and foster-do-adopt, averaging 4-6 months for licensing, followed shortly by placement. Domestic infant adoption usually involves an 18-24 month wait, while the wait for a child from Honduras ranges from 18-61 months.

Education & Post-Placement Support

Buckner’s parent education bundle includes several online adoption courses and recommended parenting books. International adoption seminar topics include attachment, grief and loss, medical issues, and racial and cultural identity. Ongoing training and support is available to families after placement, including counseling, support groups, and courses on trauma, loss, abuse, identity, trust, and other topics.

Post-placement services, offered at additional cost, include the following:

For foster and adoptive families:

  • De-identified copies of child’s adoption record
  • Search assistance to obtain medical information
  • Search assistance to open a closed adoption
  • Ongoing training and education
  • Attachment style assessments
  • Clinical counseling with a licensed professional
  • Support groups
  • Consultation with resources and information related to your needs
  • Referrals to services in your area

For adoptees:

  • De-identified copies of adoption record
  • Listing in Mutual Consent Adoption Registry
  • Search assistance and counseling support in search and reunion
  • Clinical counseling with licensed professional
  • Support groups

For birth parents:

  • Background history search for adopted children
  • Listing in Mutual Consent Adoption Registry
  • Search assistance and counseling support in search and reunion
  • Clinical counseling with a licensed professional
  • Assistance in updating birth child’s file
  • Support groups
Financing Options

About 30% of agency costs are covered by agency fundraising efforts, and families cover about 70% of operating expenses for adoption services. Agency grants are also available to families with financial needs or who are adopting a child with special needs. Information about the federal tax credit also available along with other resources at: www.resources4adoption.com.

Adoption Types

The agency encourages open adoptions, though ultimately the birth parents decide on a plan if and when they participate in the child’s life.

Successful Adoption Rate

Buckner placed 195 children through domestic and international adoption combined in 2014. Several hundred more children were served through foster care.

Experience

The agency’s roots trace back to 1884, when Baptists preacher R.C. Buckner established a home to help care for homeless children near Dallas, TX. The agency has placed over 4,000 children in homes since that time.

The Bad

Fee Structure

Specific fee breakdowns are not readily available. For domestic, foster care, Texas Waiting Children, and foster-to-adopt programs, prospective adoptive parents are instructed to contact their local Texas office for fee schedules. International fee ranges are as follows:

  • Honduras $33,510-40,510
  • Ethiopia $32,416-43,916 (when that program resumes)
Eligibility Requirements

Parents adopting with Buckner need to be high school graduates or have GED equivalency. Adoptive parents must support the Buckner mission statement and core values and are expected to teach Judeo-Christian principles in the home. For international adoption, single adults and heterosexual married couples may adopt. Couples must have been married at least four years, and there can’t be more than a 15-year age difference between husband and wife. These are just a couple of the many requirements listed for international adoption. Eligibility requirements for Buckner’s domestic programs are not as specific.

The Bottom Line

Buckner is a well-reputed organization-not to mention a longstanding one. The agency vows to change children’s lives and they are doing that through a number of effective approaches. Their domestic services are only offered in Texas, though, and the international program is limited. The Honduras program is open to families seeking a child ages 4 and older, but applications to the Ethiopia program are currently being put on hold. Interested families can be put on a waitlist to be contacted when the program resumes.

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