Adopt a Baby in California – Private Agency Adoption with FCCA
“I want to adopt a baby.”
If you have had this thought, domestic infant adoption may be the right path for you. Domestic infant adoption, also called private adoption, is the voluntary placement of a baby for adoption by his or her birth parents. This type of adoption allows hopeful parents to bond with their child from birth and to experience all of the special moments and milestones of infanthood.
FCCA works with expectant mothers throughout the United States to assist them during the pregnancy, to help them select an appropriate family for the child, and to witness all the necessary signatures on the required legal documents after the birth. In addition, FCCA provides home study, post-placement and finalization services for any families pursuing domestic infant adoption, including families in our international and fos-adopt programs.
Here is more information about adopting a baby in California, and the services FCCA can provide along the way.
How to Adopt a Baby: The Infant Adoption Process
Once you have decided that adopting an infant is the right choice for your family, your next question is likely, “How do I adopt a baby?”
Adopting a newborn baby is an exciting and rewarding experience; it is also a complex process that requires the services of experienced adoption professionals. Here is more information about how to adopt an infant with FCCA:
- Complete an adoption home study. All hopeful adoptive parents must have an approved California home study before they can be considered accept placement of an infant that is being relinquished for adoption. The home study includes a review of documents, including birth certificates, health records and more, as well as background checks, an in-home visit and interviews with a social worker. Regardless of the professional you select to locate an adoption opportunity, FCCA can provide the home study services you need to complete this important step of the process.
- Create an adoption profile. In private agency adoption, the expectant mother most often personally chooses the adoptive parents for her baby. She usually reviews several families’ adoption profiles before making that decision. The adoption profile is a compilation of photos and text that introduce your family and your home to pregnant women considering adoption. If your agency provides matching services, they may assist you in creating your adoption profile. For instance, FCCA provides general guidelines for how to create a profile, and then allows you to create your profile on your own; this allows you to be creative and develop a truly unique profile that will stand out to prospective birth mothers.
- Find an adoption opportunity. Once you have an approved home study and an adoptive family profile, you are ready to begin searching for adoption opportunities. You may choose to work with a child-placing agency or an adoption facilitator, or you can search for expectant mothers independently. If you would like to work with FCCA as your placing professional, you may keep your profile on file with our agency while pursuing one of our international or fos-adopt programs. If an infant adoption opportunity becomes available, you will receive some background information about the mother and baby and determine whether you would like your profile to be shown for consideration.
- Get to know the expectant mother. When a prospective birth mother chooses your family, she may want to get to know you better before her baby is born. If she is interested in pre-placement contact, you may have an opportunity to meet her in person or speak with her over the phone. FCCA (or your placing professional) will mediate this pre-placement contact to help protect each party’s identifying information.
- Receive placement of the baby. After the baby is born and the mother has been discharged from the hospital, she can sign the formal adoption paperwork, called a “relinquishment,” to place her baby into the legal care of FCCA. Typically, the relinquishment will specifically name your family as the adoptive parents in whose home the child must be placed. After the relinquishment has been filed with the State Department of Social Services, it may be revoked within 10 days or until the Department has issued a written acknowledgment to terminate parental rights, whichever occurs first. In some cases, the birth mother may choose to sign a waiver of the right to revoke her relinquishment, in which case it becomes final at the close of the next business day after signing.
- Satisfy post-placement requirements. After placement, FCCA will supervise the placement of the child with the adoptive parents for a minimum of four visits over six months. During these post-placement visits, your social worker will ensure that you and the child are adjusting well; we will offer any additional post-placement services or support you may need.
- Finalize the adoption. Once you have satisfied all post-placement requirements, the adoption can be finalized in court. FCCA will prepare and file your adoption finalization paperwork and arrange your finalization hearing. You will not need to hire an attorney separately to legally finalize your adoption, although you are welcome to do so if you prefer to have an attorney appear with you in court.
- Continue your post-placement relationship. At the time the relinquishment is signed, the placing parents and adoptive family may also choose to sign a post-adoption contact agreement. This legally-enforceable contract sets up the future relationship between the placing parents, the adoptive family and the child. Through these open and semi-open adoption agreements, birth parents, adoptive families and their children can remain an important part of each other’s lives for years to come.
While the baby adoption process can be long and overwhelming at times, it will all be worth it when you hold your child for the first time. If you want to adopt a baby with FCCA, please contact us for additional information about our domestic adoption program, as well as your other options when looking to adopt a baby in California.
How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Baby?
Because of the number of services and professionals required to adopt a newborn baby in the United States, domestic infant adoption costs can be significant; on average, a family can expect to pay about $41,532 total when adopting through an agency. However, adoption costs can vary significantly based on a number of factors.
Families who are hoping to adopt a newborn infant through FCCA generally pay about $15,000 for our services. This fee includes:
- The home study investigation and report
- The services to the birth parent (unless this is being provided by another agency or attorney)
- Post-placement adoption services
- Finalization of the adoption
In addition to these fees, families are often asked to pay the birth mother’s living and medical expenses, which can vary based on her individual circumstances.
To learn more about FCCA’s domestic adoption program, fees and services, please contact us to schedule a free consultation or attend one of our upcoming adoption information sessions.