Adoption Process in California
Prospective adoptive parents begin the process by completing and submitting an Adoption Interest Form. A home study (family assessment), which includes documentation, criminal background checks, references, interviews, and parent education, typically takes three to six months before a child or sibling group is placed in the home. There is no specific income requirement, and it is not necessary to own your own home.
Kinship Center is particularly noted for its in-depth parent preparation, education and support. Parents are offered extensive educational resources to prepare them for the parenting journey, including skills training by expert trainers, a video library with DVD’s produced in Kinship Center’s own studios, and a wide range of recommended reading materials.
Kinship Center professional staff have a high level of competence and many decades of experience preparing families for adoption, matching their wants and capabilities with the needs of children, and supporting families on their lifelong journeys. Kinship Center staff are responsible for the very high placement success rate and high client satisfaction ratings.
Click here to visit our separate website offering specialized services to those who are facing an unplanned pregnancy.
How to Adopt a Child in California: Types of Adoptions
Kinship Center’s adoption program includes several options for permanent placement, described below. We welcome adults who are interested in learning more about becoming adoptive parents. We also welcome birth parents who wish to consider their options. Kinship Center professional staff provide individual guidance in completing the steps to adoption. Information meetings are held monthly at Kinship Center locations throughout California. Click here for a statewide schedule of meetings.
Adoption from Foster Care (Foster/Adopt): Once the court has determined that adoption is a potential plan for a foster child, Kinship Center seeks an adoptive family who can take the child into their home on a foster care basis until all the legal requirements are met to proceed to adoption. A child or sibling group may have special needs as a result of neglect, abuse, drug exposure, abandonment, and/or multiple foster placements. Service fees for a family study in this program are usually waived, and an adoption subsidy following legal adoption may be available. Kinship Center provides pre- and post- adoption education, support, and counseling to assist families.
Adoption from Foster Care for Medically Fragile or Developmentally Disabled Children (STAR Program): Kinship Center is approved to care for children with special medical or developmental needs. Foster parents in this program typically have experience or some medical training in this field. Qualified medical personnel provide additional training, and foster parents work closely with the Kinship Center social worker and the Individualized Health Care Plan Team.
Conversions: When a family makes the decision to adopt a child already living in the home (often a relative child), the county of residence requires a home study (family assessment) and that county may contract with Kinship Center to complete that study.
Infant Adoption: For the placement of apparently healthy newborns a prospective adoptive couple must have a stable marriage or relationship of at least two years duration and must reside in California. Single parent applicants are also eligible. Applicants are typically within their normal child rearing years, and profiles of potential adoptive parents are presented to birth parents who are receiving counseling. Most birth parents request an initial face-to-face meeting and may wish negotiation of certain medical and other expenses as well as varying degrees of openness over time. Fees for Kinship Center’s services will vary depending on the services provided.
Adoption Home Study (Family Assessment) for International Adoption or Attorney-Assisted Adoption: Singles or couples may request a home study for the purpose of an attorney-assisted or international adoption. Service fees are determined on an individual basis depending of the type of study requested. Additional fees are charged for birth parent services and post placement services as needed.
Independent Pre-placement Assessment: Families seeking an independent adoption may wish to complete an abbreviated home study (family assessment) prior to receiving a child into their home. The State Department of Social Services will accept the IPA Study but will still perform post-placement visits and submit a recommendation to the court prior to legal finalization. A standard State IPA fee is applied, and additional fees may be charged for extraordinary services beyond the assessment.
Designated Adoption: When prospective parents and birth parents have reached an adoption agreement independently and need help in facilitating an adoption plan, Kinship Center can provide professional counseling for both birth and adoptive parents, legal and medical arrangements and negotiation of openness issues. Service fees are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Birth Parent Services: Kinship Center provides information and counseling to ensure that birth parents can be advised of their alternatives and their legal rights in order to make an informed decision. Individual and group counseling helps birth parents cope with issues such as feelings, relationships, medical care, and plans for the future. If adoption is the choice, birth parents may design their own adoption plan, which may include choosing the adoptive family from a pool of pre-approved parents who are preparing for parenthood, financial assistance for living or medical expenses, the option of maintaining an ongoing relationship with the baby, and other provisions.Click here for frequently asked questions.
An adopted child qualifies as a dependent for income tax purposes. The adoptive family may be able to claim a dependency exemption, a child tax credit, and a credit for childcare incurred because the adoptive parents are working. In addition, certain adoptive families may qualify for the earned income tax credit.
Adoptive parents may also be eligible for a tax credit for the amount of qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. Benefits received from an employer’s adoption assistance program may be excludable from gross income. A family adopting a special needs child may be able to claim the tax credit even if they incur no adoption-related expenses.
The above information is of a general nature and should not be acted upon except in consultation with your tax advisor.
Kinship Center Adoption Services by County
Kinship Center offers adoption services in the following locations. Click on the location link to see what services are offered in your area.
Monterey County Adoption
Orange County Adoption
Los Angeles County Adoption
Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties) Adoption
North San Diego County Adoption
Santa Clara County Adoption
San Benito County Adoption
San Luis Obispo County Adoption
Other Central Coast (Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Counties) Adoption