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Adoption

Child Abuse Reporting during the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the immense pressure this current pandemic places on some of our most vulnerable communities, the Department of Family and Children's Services is encouraging Santa Clara County Residents to be the advocates for youth who may be experiencing trauma, in the forms of abuse and/or neglect. Please watch and share the videos linked below and help support the most vulnerable individuals in our communities.


Child Abuse Awareness Videos – COVID-19 Series


Child Abuse Awareness during the Shelter in Place - Public Service Announcements (PSA)


Child Abuse Reporting Tip Sheets


Mandated Reporter Training

The Santa Clara County Department of Family Children’s Services in partnership with Seneca Family of Agencies provides FREE on demand and monthly Mandated Reporter trainings (virtual/in-person) in English or Spanish. Agencies may also request to host separately, please contact SantaClaraMRT@senecacenter.org or call (510) 654-4004 for further information. The Mandated Reporter Training is 3 hours, available for Santa Clara County Mandated Reporters only and CEU’s are provided. Check out the Mandated Reporting Training Information Flyer concerning the classes or register here and choose "Eligible Participant" to scroll for class times/dates.

Child Mandated Reporter 3- CEs-General Info Flyer
General Flyer for MRT Seneca 2019


The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) also provides free 24/7 self-paced Mandated Reporter training online in English and Spanish.

Mandated Reporters should check with their employment agency before registering to ensure trainings satisfy employment requirements.

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What Is Adoption

Adoption is the process that transfers the legal rights, responsibilities and rewards of being a parent. The rights and responsibilities of birth parents are permanently terminated and assumed by other people who become the child’s legal parent(s). Adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as birth parents.

About Santa Clara County Social Service Agency’s Adoption Services

Santa Clara County provides a full range of adoption services. Those services are for both those open to adopting a child and those who want to give up a child for adoption. Among those services are voluntary relinquishments, adoption home studies, placing children for adoption, guidance in finalization of adoptions, and post adoption services. Financial assistance is given to some adoptive parents for eligible children under the Adoption Assistance Program.

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Adoption FAQs

What is Adoption?
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Adoption is a permanent and legal change in relationship when a child legally becomes thechild 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.​

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What is a relinquishment?
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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 ClaraCounty Social Services Adoption Agency can explore the option of relinquishment with you. Oncerelinquishment documents have been completed and filed with the California Department of Social Servicesthe relinquishing parent’s rights are permanently terminated. ​

If I want to adopt a child through Santa Clara County, what is my next step?
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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?
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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?
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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 SocialSecurity 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?
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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?
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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?
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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. ​

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Last updated: 6/8/2020 2:46 PM