DALLAS — In a landmark abortion ruling, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion and letting states decide on issue.
While questions remain what the impact will be across the nation, in Texas, the state has already passed a “trigger law,” making most abortions illegal.
Now, many are wondering how this would affect the already embattled Texas foster care system.
As recent as the last year, the Texas foster care system has faced allegations concerning physical and sexual abuse and human trafficking. There’s also an overwhelming need for more foster care families to take in children.
DFPS Media Relations Director Marissa Gonzales said the agency isn't sure what effect the Supreme Court's decision will have, but that a Texas law known as the Safe Haven Law allows infants younger than 60 days to be surrendered to a fire station or hospital emergency room.
"That can be a resource for a mother/parents who are unable to care for a child," she wrote.
Since 2009, 172 children have been surrendered under the Safe Haven Law.
There are currently 6,025 children in Texas in need of an adoptive placement. More information on how to become an adoptive family can be found here.
In April 2022, a grim Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) report provided to lawmakers and obtained by the Texas Tribune showed more than 100 children have died in Texas’ child welfare system since 2020. The report stated that 44 children died in 2020 and 38 died in 2021, while they were in the State’s care.
In September 2021, a federal court hearing was held about the ongoing issues of children’s safety in the Texas’s foster care system. During the first half of 2021, 501 children spent at least on night in their case workers’ offices or in hotel room due to the state not being able to find licenses agencies to care of them.
In that same hearing, DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters admitted to feeling like she was “failing children.”