If you have decided to expand your family, then you may be considering adopting a child. The adoption process can be challenging, but for many people it is well-worth it for the chance to welcome a new child into their family.
Before you decide whether adoption is right for you, consider the different types of adoptions available for California families. First, there is an agency adoption, where a child is placed for adoption by public or licensed private agencies. The California Department of Social Services may also place the child for adoption through a regional office. Once the birth parent's rights are legally terminated, the adoption agency will legally take custody of the child and work to place the child in an appropriate home. The agency will review your application as a potential adoptive parent and, if there is a match, they will supervise the placement for a minimum of six months before the court makes the adoption official.
Another option would be an independent adoption, which allows the child's birth parents to decide which potential adoptive parents would be the best fit for their child. An Adoption Service Provider will provide the birth parent with information regarding their rights and options, and the birth parent and adoptive parents must then sign an Independent Adoption Placement Agreement agreeing to the adoption. After 30 days, this agreement is set in stone and the birth parents will no longer be able to stop the adoption from taking place.
If you choose to adopt a child born in another country, the adoption will generally be completed through the Intercountry Adoption program, which connects California residents to licensed private agencies specializing in intercountry adoptions.
No matter which type of adoption you choose, a family law attorney can help you with every step of the process.