Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption

If you’re considering adoption in California, you likely have a lot of questions. Adoption can certainly be a complicated process, especially for someone with no experience, which is why it’s so important for all prospective adoptive parents to do diligent research before deciding on an adoption process that’s right for them.

When you contact our professionals at FCCA, you can receive detailed and specific information about adoption in California to help you make the best decision for you and your family. Our experienced professionals will inform you about the choices, and when you’re ready, help you begin the process of bringing a child into your family.

To help you learn a little more about the adoption process in California, you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about adoption below. For more information, please contact our offices.

Q: What adoption services does your agency provide?

A: At FCCA, we can help you with almost any adoption process! Our greatest numbers of placements are made through our “fos-adopt” program. This program places waiting children in foster care with permanent, loving families. Families who choose this adoption process will receive our guidance and assistance through every step of the process, with no additional adoption professionals required.

FCCA also help you complete agency-assisted infant adoption and independent infant adoption, as well as guardianship adoption, step-parent adoptions, adult adoptions, and relative adoptions. We have a direct placement program for special needs children in Hong Kong and a relative adoption program for Nigeria. For families adopting from other countries or through other agencies, we complete home studies for international adoptions, as well as post-placement and finalization services.

To learn more about each of our California adoption processes and which services we provide in each program, please contact our adoption professionals.

Q: How much does adoption cost?

A: How much your adoption will cost will depend upon which kind of adoption you choose to pursue. Generally, international adoption and private infant adoption can average between $12,000 and $50,000. Foster care adoption, on the other hand, only costs about $2,000, and most of those costs are more than offset by monthly foster care payments, adoption subsidy payments, and the adoption tax credit.

Our adoption professionals can discuss our fee structures and what expenses you may expect in a given adoption process. We can also provide suggestions for adoption fundraising and budgeting in preparation for starting your adoption journey.

Q: How long does it take to adopt a child?

A: Again, the answer to this question will depend upon which adoption process you choose. In our fos-adopt program, most families receive a placement within six months of completing their home study (with a minimum of another six months before the adoption can be finalized). The wait for a private infant adoption placement will depend on the advertising used and the adoption preferences of the adoptive parents, but it can take an average of six months to a year for placement. International adoption can take much longer, sometimes up to a few years, mostly due to the requirements of the Hague Convention on International Adoption and the Universal Accreditation Act.

Q: Can I adopt a special needs child?

A: You can absolutely choose to adopt a child with special needs through all of our adoption processes. In fact, most children adopted through our fos-adopt program qualify as “special needs,” whether it’s because of emotional or behavioral issues or simpler things like age, race or being a part of a sibling group. Our adoption professionals will provide you the necessary training and education to prepare for bringing a child with special needs into your home.

Q: Can I adopt an infant through your fos-adopt program?

A: FCCA focuses on low-legal-risk adoptions, which usually means older children who are much more likely to be adopted than infants who have been placed in the foster care system. However, some very young children are available for adoption from foster care as part of a sibling group. If you wish to adopt an infant, you can always enter our private domestic infant adoption program simultaneously with our fos-adopt process. You can also work with a matching professional to find an infant available for private domestic adoption. Once you have found an adoption opportunity, our adoption professionals can help you complete the rest of your infant adoption.

Q: What are the requirements to adopt in California?

A: Requirements for specific adoption processes will vary, but as long as you are an adult who is 10 years older than the child you wish to adopt, and you complete the necessary home study with background checks and clearances, you can adopt a child in California. Talk to our adoption professionals to learn more about the specific requirements for the adoption process you’re considering.

Q: Can I choose the kind of child I wish to adopt?

A: Adoptive parents have the right to choose the characteristics they are comfortable with in a potential adoption, including race, age, gender and any special needs. Keep in mind that these factors impact your wait time, especially in private infant adoption and international adoption where demand for healthy newborn Caucasian babies is high. If you decide to complete a foster care adoption, our adoption counselors will walk you through the different characteristics of children available in foster care to help you determine which characteristics you are and are not comfortable with. No matter what, you are never forced to accept a child who does not seem like a good fit for your family.

Q: Do we need to hire a separate attorney if we complete one of your programs?

A: Most of the time, prospective adoptive parents need not hire an attorney when completing an adoption with FCCA. Our staff will complete and file all of the paperwork needed for your adoption. In some cases, an experienced adoption attorney is needed for complex situations, in which case we will help you locate the best person for the job.

Q: What about a home study — do we need a separate professional?

A: As a licensed adoption agency, home studies are an integral part of our services for California families. FCCA has social workers on staff to complete home studies for foster care adoption, private domestic infant adoption and international adoption, as well as step-parent and relative adoptions. We are licensed and accredited throughout California so we can assist families living throughout the state. We can even complete your home study investigation if you are working with another adoption professional that is unable to provide those services, such as an out-of-state international adoption agency or matching agency.

Q: Can the biological parent of the child I adopt “get them back?”

A: Adoption is a final and permanent process. Whether you complete an adoption with a prospective birth mother or adopt a child from foster care, the legal process of adoption will terminate all birth parents’ rights. A birth parent will not have any legal ties to the child after the adoption finalization occurs. Unless you decide otherwise, FCCA focuses on low-risk adoptions, which means that your adoption is not likely be disrupted by a birth parent.

Q: How do I decide which adoption process is right for me?

A: The adoption professionals at FCCA are experienced in several different adoption processes, so they are able to advise prospective adoptive parents through an adoption decision. They will discuss your adoption goals and preferences with you and describe the adoption processes for which you are. From there, they will help you make the best choice for you and your family, and when you’re ready, help you move forward with your family-building process.

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Have more adoption questions that haven’t been answered here? For more information about adopting a child in California through our agency, please contact our adoption professionals today.