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Published on: 5/21/2015 7:14 PM
What is Adoption?
​Adoption is a permanent and legal change in relationship when a child legally becomes the child of another family. Deciding whether or not the plan of adoption is the right choice for you and your child may be the most emotion-filled decision that you will ever have to make.
What is a relinquishment?
​A relinquishment is the legal process by which parents voluntarily and permanently give up their parental rights to a child for adoption by another. If you want to make an adoptive plan for your child, Santa Clara County Social Services Adoption Agency can explore the option of relinquishment with you. Once relinquishment documents have been completed and filed with the California Department of Social Services the relinquishing parent’s rights are permanently terminated.
If I want to adopt a child through Santa Clara County, what is my next step?
​If you are interested in 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.
What is AAP?
​AAP stands for Adoption Assistance Program. It is a federally funded program which provides financial benefits for adoptive children with special needs. AAP can consist of both financial and medical benefits.
My adopted child is eligible for benefits from the Adoption Assistance Program, however, he receives a survivor benefit from Social Security from his deceased birth parent. Will this affect my child’s eligibility for AAP?
​No. AAP benefits cannot be reduced because of income for the child from any sources including income from birth parents, birth relative, adoptive parents, Social Security Administration (SSA) Survivors Benefits and Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI). You must report your child’s AAP benefits to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA might deduct your AAP benefits from your child’s SSI grant.
How long will the adoption take to finalize my child’s adoption?
​It depends on a number of factors. In Santa Clara County, after an adoption home study is complete and the child is freed for adoption, an adoption finalization social worker is assigned the case. After the assignment of the finalization social worker the adoption hearing usually takes place in three to six months.
Are there counseling services available for us as an adoptive family, after the adoption is finalized?
​Yes. Post Adoption Services can refer or connect the adoptive family with counseling resources.
Can the adoptive parents continue to receive AAP benefits for their child if the family moves out of the country?
​Yes. They may move out of the county, the state, or the country and the benefits will continue. However, the adoptive parents need to notify the Post Adoption Staff in writing regarding the changes of address to ensure that the AAP benefits will continue uninterrupted.