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How to Adopt a Child in California

Answering FAQs from Hopeful Adoptive Families in CA

American Adoptions of California has a goal to support prospective birth mothers through the adoption process and to help hopeful adoptive parents, like you, grow their families.

Choosing the right California adoption professional sets the course of your adoption. And when you select American Adoptions of California, you will have some of the nation’s best adoption specialists ready to help:

We are here to answer all your questions about the process and how to adopt a child in California. To learn more about how we can guide you through your domestic infant adoption, you can get free information here or call us at 1-800-ADOPTION.

How Does Adopting a Child Work in California? [In 4 Steps]

Choosing to adopt is a big step and a detailed process, so we want to help you have a successful journey to discovering how to adopt a child in California.

Through this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps of how to adopt a child in California. Those steps include:

  1. Choosing the best adoption professional

  2. Complete pre-adoption requirements for the state of California

  3. Finding an adoption opportunity and getting to know the birth parents

  4. Finalizing your adoption

Many couples looking to adopt a child in California may have struggled with infertility and are now choosing to grow their family through adoption. So, the first real step is deciding if adoption is best for you. But, you’re already on this page, so let’s explore the various stages of domestic adoption hopeful adoptive families will experience.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Adoption Professional in California For You

Once you’ve decided to pursue child adoption in California, you should then choose which adoption professional you want to work alongside. Luckily, you’ve found the best one here at American Adoptions of California.

But, of course, it’s very helpful and beneficial to do plenty of research before you make your decision. There are many factors to consider when looking for adoption professionals, like:

American Adoptions of California can provide you with all the resources you need to complete your adoption. We are transparent with all our answers, so ask away. We can be the right adoption professional that best suits your needs and wants for your adoption.

For more information on our services and resources for adoptive families, you can call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our contact sheet here and learn why American Adoptions of California is a popular choice for adoptive families like yours.

Step 2: Completing the Necessary Pre-adoption Requirements

Adoption laws vary from state to state. California has certain requirements you must meet before you can be an adoptive family. American Adoptions of California also has prerequisites. These include completing:

As a licensed home study provider in California, American Adoptions has streamlined the home study process so that you can complete your home study with us faster and more efficiently than any other agency. Follow this link to begin your home study and to learn more about the services we offer.

We have also partnered with Family Connections Christian Adoptions to help complete your home study, which consists of three stages:

  • Documentation

  • Family member interviews

  • A home inspection

Additionally, the questionnaire will help us determine the best potential adoption opportunities and pregnant women to match you with. Lastly, the family profile offers you a platform to tell your story to birth mothers considering adoption.

With American Adoptions of California, you will also create an adoption video profile that has proven to benefit hopeful adoptive families by allowing prospective birth mothers to get a glimpse of the life their child will have.

Step 3: Finding an Adoption Opportunity [Getting to Know the Birth Parents]

As you continue to move forward with the adoption process, the next step is finding an adoption opportunity. This happens when a prospective birth parent chooses you, and a specialist at American Adoptions of California will help you.

With any adoption, American Adoptions of California requires parents to agree to some level of openness.

Open adoption in California can greatly benefit you and your family, the birth parents, and most importantly, the child in the long run.

So many adoptive families that have worked with us, like Lindsey and Mike, had their worries but ultimately decided an open adoption would be best for everyone involved.

“I just had no idea what it would look like,” Lindsey said. “But, once we were matched and met Dominic’s birth mom, I was just like, ‘Oh, I could 100% see seeing her on an annual basis — or even more than that.”

There is always a possibility that communication with the birth parents might taper as the years go on, as it did for Lindsey and Mike. But, Lindsey said there was still a lot she’s learned from her adoption story.

“My general advice is to be open and flexible to whatever the birth parent is comfortable with,” she said. “Try to go with the flow as best as you can.”

Starting this process of communication as early as possible, especially before the child is born, is very beneficial because it builds a level of comfortability and trust between you, your child and the birth mother that can last a lifetime. The more comfortable the birth mother is, the more likely she will feel confident in her adoption decision.

Step 4: Finalizing Your Adoption Journey

After the child’s birth and homecoming, your adoption process is almost complete. The final step of how to adopt a child in California concludes with a finalization hearing.

A state judge reviews your case and personal information and decides whether your adoption is completely legal, clearly ethical, and will be in the baby’s best interest. Once they review everything and approve, the judge signs your parental rights of the child, and the legal aspects of your adoption are complete. Congratulations!

However, adoption itself is never finished. Maintaining open and honest communication with your child about adoption and helping them understand who they are and where they come from is vital for healthy development and relationships they will forever experience in their life.

Take it from our Founder Scott Mars who was adopted as a child.

“My parents adopted me because they did not want to miss out on the joy only a child can provide,” Scott said. “Every day I realize how important I am to my parents. The fact that I was adopted doesn’t matter.”

He also offers support and helpful advice for future adoptive families who may be worried about the adoption process.

“In the end, all your pain and doubt will wash away the first moment your baby snuggles in your arms,” he said. “It will not matter how you became parents — it will only matter that you did.”

Getting Started on Your Adoption Journey

If you are interested in more information about how to adopt a child in California with us or have further questions about adoption costs or our adoption disruption protections, please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION to receive free guidance from one of our adoption specialists.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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