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How Do I Adopt?

Last modified: 3/9/2012 10:27 AM

 

How Do I Adopt?
Adoptions through the Department of Family and Children’s Services are available for the caretakers of dependent children of the court in out-of-home care who are unable to return to their parents and need a permanent placement. Those adoptive families are either foster caretakers ( Fost-Adoption) or relative caretakers (Relative Adoption.)

Fost-Adoption
If you are interested in Fost- Adoption, you must first become a licensed foster parent, and then you must successfully complete an adoption Home Study. You can ask for an application online or Call 299-KIDS.

How the Process Works
Before placing a child in your home, federal and state law requires that Department of Family and Children’s Services license your home. There are only 6 steps on the pathway to becoming a foster-adoptive parent::

  1. Applications and Orientation
    You must first complete an application that includes information about your family members, family history and the reasons you want to be a parent. You can acquire this application and other information on our contact page. The orientation is an informal meeting for you to learn the process, ask questions and decide if foster parenting is right for your family.
  2. Training
    If you have decided foster care is right for your family, you will attend 28 hours of PRIDE training. This is a nationally renowned training program that teaches knowledge and skills in five essential competency categories for foster parents and adoptive parents:

    • protecting and nurturing children;
    • meeting children's developmental needs, and addressing developmental delays;
    • supporting relationships between children and their families;
    • connecting children to safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime; and
    • working as a member of a professional team.
  3. At-Home Consultation
    Our licensing unit will schedule a time for one of our social workers to meet with you and your family in your home. We will make sure your home passes basic fire and health inspections and provides a suitable environment for children in foster care. You will be informed of all the requirements during your training.
  4. Complete and Pass a Criminal Background Check
    All adults living in the home who are 18 years of age or over must complete one set of LiveScan fingerprint clearances. LiveScan is automated service for criminal history background checks required as a condition of licensing clearances.
  5. Licensure
    Once you have successfully completed the above steps, you will be issued a foster care license which means you are officially approved to accept foster children into your home. At this stage you will make a decision about the number, ages, and behaviors of the children that you feel you can successfully care for.
  6. Qualification for Adoption
    You must complete an application that includes information about your family members, family history and the reasons you want to be a parent. You can acquire this application and other information on our contact page. Then Agency social workers perform a "home study," visiting the potential adoptive parents' home to ensure that The potential adoptive parent(s) is/are subject to an assessment of criminal, marital, medical, and employment backgrounds. The home study also includes an interview, the purpose of which is to ascertain whether the potential parents are ready for the responsibilities of adoptive parenting. The goal of the interview and examination process is not to approve only applicants who have a lot of money, a big house, or a great deal of education. It is meant to verify that adoption is the appropriate choice for the adopting parent(s) and that they will be able to meet the specific needs of the child they are seeking to adopt. The home study also is an opportunity for the prospective adoptive parents to obtain information from the agency social worker and to have their questions answered.

The Steps of the Finalization Process
Although the process might vary somewhat if you live in another county or state once your adoption home study is completed and an adoption finalization social worker is assigned, the finalization process usually takes at least three to six months in Santa Clara County.

The step of the finalization process includes the completion of the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) paperwork, review “full disclosure information,” which includes all available information about the child in the form of copies of reports and evaluations from the case files, completion of the Adoptive Placement Agreement paperwork, the preparation and filing of a petition for adoption and other documents with the court, and a court appearance to finalize the adoption. At that court appearance the adoption is complete. Approximately twelve months after the finalization hearing you receive the new birth certificate from the State of California.

Relative Adoption

  1. Application
    An application will be completed that includes information about your family members, family history and the reasons you want to be a parent. The child’s social worker will give you an application packet for a relative adoption.
  2. Training
    If you have decided foster care is right for your family, you will attend 24 hours of KINSHIP PRIDE training. This is a nationally renowned training program that will help you better understand what your role as a relative provider are and help you obtain resources, as well as to gain an understanding of the Child Welfare System.
  3. Qualification
    Agency workers perform a "home study," going into the potential parents' home to investigate that it is an appropriate place for a child. The adoptive parents are subject to an assessment of criminal, marital, medical, and employment backgrounds. The home study also includes an interview, the purpose of which is to ascertain whether the potential parents are ready for the responsibilities of parenting.
    The goal of the interview and examination process is not to make sure the applicants have a lot of money, a big house, or a great deal of education. It is meant to verify that adoption is the appropriate choice for the couple and that they will be able to meet the specific needs of the child they are seeking to adopt. The home study also is an opportunity for the potential parents to obtain information from the agency worker and to have their questions answered.

The Steps of the Finalization Process
Although the process might vary somewhat if you live in another county or state once your adoption home study is completed and an adoption finalization social worker is assigned, the finalization process usually takes at least three to six months in Santa Clara County.

The step of the finalization process includes the completion of the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) paperwork, review “full disclosure information,” which includes all available information about the child in the form of copies of reports and evaluations from the case files, completion of the Adoptive Placement Agreement paperwork, the preparation and filing of a petition for adoption and other documents with the court, and a court appearance to finalize the adoption. At that court appearance the adoption is complete. Approximately twelve months after the finalization hearing you receive the new birth certificate from the State of California.