Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption

Do I have to make a lot of money to adopt?

Adoptive parents must have sufficient regular income to sustain their family without relying on the monthly reimbursement. (Unfortunately, AFDC, temporary disability, student loans and unemployment compensation do not qualify as income.)

Who Can Adopt?

Adults over the age of 25 years can adopt. You may be married, single, domestic partners or same sex partners. You must have sufficient income to meet the financial responsibilities of the child you are seeking to adopt. Additionally you should be in good physical and mental health and must clear a background check.

What fees are involved in Adoption?

There no agency fees to foster adoptive parents who are adopting a child through our Foster/Adopt program. Foster/Adopt parents receive a monthly reimbursement to help cover the child's expenses until the adoption is finalized. After the adoption is finalized, continued funding is available through AAP (Adoption Assistance Program). All of the child's medical expenses are covered by Medi-Cal until the age of 18.

Do you accept single parent Adoptions?

Yes, we accept single parent adoption applications. The approved home study is the final criteria for acceptance and certification of an adoptive family.

What is an adoption home study?

The completed home study is also used to "introduce" you as a potential adoptive family to county social workers that have children available for adoption. Families For Children will conduct the home study process in a way that will allow the prospective adoptive parents to go through a phase of self-discovery and self-study rather than an investigative process on the part of the agency. Given enough information and wide enough latitude to explore one's own motivations and desires, most people will make the right decisions as to whether or not adoption is appropriate for them, and if so, what kind of child would be the best match for them.

What is Foster/Adopt?

The Fost/Adopt process is the continuation from foster care to permanent adoption if reunification with the birth family is not possible. Once these children are legally freed by the courts, they will make the transition to adoptive children and may join their permanent families with minimal delay.

Once the adoption is finalized, can the biological family still get custody?

No, adoption is a legally binding relationship that grants the adoptive parent(s) all legal, financial and medical rights and responsibilities of being a parent of the child.

Is financial help available for adoptive parents to care for their children?

The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance for eligible fost/adopt children who have special needs. Special needs includes children over 8 years old, children of minority or ethnic groups, children with cognitive, emotional or physical disabilities and children with histories that put them at risk for special needs. Children remain eligible for AAP through their 18th birthday. They also are eligible to receive Medi-Cal benefits through the age of 21. AAP is only available for fost/adopt children, ie: children who have been adopted thru social services.

What is a Relinquishment?

Relinquishment is the adoptive process in which a birth mother relinquishes her child (born or unborn) directly to an Adoption Agency which will match her child with adoptive parents. This can be an open or closed adoption process. Families For Children is licensed to perform relinquishments.

What services do you provide that attorneys do not?

We provide the adoptive parents with the adoptive home study required for the adoption process by State of California regulations. We provide the required counseling to birth parents and adoptive parents required by State regulations. We have the required social work personnel with Master's degrees in Social Work, a degree required to perform all adoptive work.

Do Adoptive Parents need an attorney?

No, they do not need an attorney but they may retain an attorney at their discretion.

How long does the adoption process usually take?

The process can typically take as little as 6 months or as much as 24 months depending on the circumstances of each adoption.

How are you different from an Adoption Facilitator?

We are a "Full Service" Adoption Agency, licensed by the State of California. We do our own home studies for adoptive parents; we are able to finalize all adoptions without the assistance of an attorney unless the adoptive parents specifically request the involvement of an attorney. Adoption facilitators are not licensed to perform adoptions, they must outsource the Home Study and use an attorney to finalize the adoption, which often results in high fees.

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