What kind of paperwork do I sign to make an adoption plan?

As an expectant mother considering adoption, it is important that you understand the legal adoption process and the rights you have when making an adoption plan for your baby.

The paperwork you sign will depend on what type of adoption plan you choose to make. What’s important to note is that nothing you sign prior to the child’s birth can legally obligate you to place your child for adoption.

Here’s what you need to know about adoption paperwork with FCCA:

You have the right to review sample adoption forms.

The law requires that we give you sample adoption placement forms prior to the date you sign the formal adoption papers, and at our first meeting with you. This gives you time to review the forms and ask us any questions you have about the process.

You will complete an application for FCCA’s services.

If you decide to make an adoption plan through FCCA, we will ask you to complete an application and agreement for us to provide services to you. This does not legally obligate you to proceed with the adoption process, and you may still discontinue your adoption plan at any time.

You will complete forms providing certain background information.

These forms are required by the state to provide FCCA and the adoptive family with your medical and social history. These typically include:

If you have any Native American heritage, you will also complete the Parental Notification of Indian Status, which will be used to give notice to all possible tribes that may have an interest in the child.

You will sign consent or relinquishment paperwork after being discharged from the hospital.

After your baby is born, and after you are discharged from the hospital, you can sign the formal paperwork for the adoption to move forward.

In an independent adoption, this paperwork will include:

For an agency adoption, you will sign the following:

You may sign these documents at an FCCA office near you, or your FCCA social worker can meet with you to sign where it’s convenient for you. After you have legally consented to the adoption, and after your revocation period has passed, your adoption decision will become permanent.

You may sign an adoption contact agreement.

If you are interested in an open or semi-open adoption, you can sign a post-adoption contact agreement with the adoptive family. If the adoption is finalized in California, this agreement will be filed with the court and is legally binding.

Every adoption relationship is different, and your contact agreement will vary based on the type and amount of contact you want to have with the adoptive family and your child. You may choose to exchange pictures and letters through FCCA, or to communicate with each other directly through more frequent phone calls, emails, and even in-person visits.

While this adoption paperwork may seem overwhelming at first, your adoption social worker will be with you through each step of the process to answer your questions and ensure you fully understand every document you sign.

If you have questions about any of the required adoption paperwork, or if you need assistance completing the legal adoption process, please contact FCCA any time. We can provide the guidance and services you need to legally and safely make an adoption plan for your baby.