Adoption in most states in the United States is a similar process. However, there are few things that make adoption in California unique.
1. More and more people are seeing foster care as a route to family building.
Becoming a foster parent can be an inexpensive way of building a family–a possible way for adoption in California. Prospective parents are trained in caring for traumatized youth, and receive support to help them throughout the process. Statistics show an increase of about 11% in adoptions through a public child welfare agency between the years of 2014 and 2015.
2. Adoptions cannot be delayed due to the child residing in a different county than the adoptive parents.
According to California law, “The placement of a child for adoption may not be delayed or denied because the prospective approved adoptive family resides outside the jurisdiction of the Department or the licensed adoption agency.”
California is a very large state. This unique statute can assist families in one county who are adopting a child from a different county within the state. While it may be hard to prove that an adoption was delayed due to this, those who suspect the cause of a delay was a county-to-county issue are granted hearings.
3. There is a difference between a ‘legal guardian’ and an ‘adoptive parent’.
According to California state law, the court appoints legal guardians. Guardians will oversee and care for children until they are 18, in most circumstances, but they are subject to supervision by the court during the care period. Once the child is 18, the laws of guardianship no longer apply. An adoptive parent is assuming the all parental rights and responsibilities. Adoptive parents have the same legal rights as biological parents would have. Guardians only assume some of those rights and cannot make all decisions for the child while in care.
4. The California Government offers many different listings of adoption providers and agencies.
Sometimes the most confusing part is getting started in the adoption process. California tries to make that a bit easier by offering descriptions of the different types of agencies and adoption professionals.