The Different Types of Adoption in California Explained

adoption in california

Adoption is a beautiful and loving act of creating a family for a child who needs it. And it allows biological parents facing an unexpected pregnancy to place their child with adoptive parents looking to build their family.

It’s a process that involves legal and emotional commitments and can be complicated, but the outcome is worth all the effort. In California, a prospective adoptive parent can choose several types of adoption, and each has its unique requirements, processes, and benefits.

This article will discuss the different types of adoption in California and some important factors to consider when choosing the right type of adoption for you.

Step-parent Adoption

Step-parent adoption is a process that enables a step-parent to legally adopt their step-child and become their parent in every sense of the word. The step-parent adoption process in California is relatively simple, especially compared to other types of adoption.

One of the most important things to remember when considering step-parent adoption in California is that the biological parent’s consent is required. That means the biological parent must agree to terminate their parental rights, allowing the step-parent to adopt their child. In addition, in some cases, the biological parent may have already passed away, so the stepparent must provide evidence of this.

Foster Care Adoption

Foster care adoption is a type of adoption where a child is placed in a foster home while waiting for a permanent family. It’s typically done through the state government or a private agency, and the goal is to provide a safe, stable, and loving environment for the child while they wait for their permanent family. The children in foster care come from various backgrounds and can be of any age, race, religion, or culture.

Prospective adoptive parents interested in foster care adoption must undergo a rigorous screening process, including background checks, home studies, and training to become foster parents. The process may take several months, but once completed, the adoptive parents become licensed foster parents and can begin fostering and adopting a child.

In California, foster care adoption is a cost-free process, and the state provides financial support for the child’s care, including medical expenses, clothing, and educational needs. Therefore, foster care adoption is an excellent option for those who are open to adopting children of any age and background and are willing to provide a safe and loving environment.

Domestic Infant Adoption

Domestic infant adoption is a type of adoption where prospective adoptive parents adopt a newborn or young infant who is born within the United States. Domestic infant adoptions are usually done through private adoption agencies or attorneys.

The domestic infant adoption process involves the birth mother choosing the adoptive parents for her baby. Then, the adoptive parents and birth mother work together to create an adoption plan that works best for everyone involved.

Prospective adoptive parents must undergo a rigorous screening process, including background checks, home studies, and training. They must also be prepared to handle the emotional aspects of adoption and be open to communication with the birth mother throughout the process.

Domestic infant adoption is a costlier option compared to foster care adoption. Still, many adoptive parents feel that the benefits of being able to adopt a newborn or young infant are worth the investment. Adoptive parents can also take advantage of the tax credits and other financial benefits available for adopting a special needs child or a child who was part of the California public child welfare agency.

International Adoption

International adoption is a type of adoption where prospective adoptive parents adopt a child from another country. International adoption can be a complex and lengthy process, and prospective adoptive parents must be prepared to meet the requirements of both the country of origin and the United States.

In California, international adoption is usually done through private adoption agencies or attorneys; therefore is typically a costlier option compared to domestic infant adoption or foster care adoption. However, prospective adoptive parents must undergo a rigorous screening process, including background checks, home studies, and training.

Open vs. Closed Adoptions

Depending on how involved the birth parents are will determine if your adoption will be open or closed.

Open Adoption

In an open adoption, the biological parent and adoptive parents share their identities and remain in contact during and after the adoption. Some people mistake an open adoption for co-parenting. This is not the case. As adoptive parents, you can set contact limits with the child’s biological parents.

Closed Adoption

In a closed adoption, both parents have no contact, and their identities aren’t shared. All adoptions in California are Closed Adoptions by default. However, you can still opt for an Open Adoption.

Let Azemika and Azemika Help You on Your Adoption Journey

The adoption process and the laws surrounding it can seem complex and confusing. Seeking the assistance of a family law attorney should be your first step to becoming an adoptive family.

At Azemika and Azemika, we know how exciting becoming a parent can be. We will advise you on all aspects of the adoption process so you can start parenthood in the right direction on firm legal grounds.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.