Foster-to-Adopt in California

When it comes to adopting a child from foster care in California, FCCA can always help you out. From start to finish, our licensed social workers can walk you through every step of our “fos-adopt” process.

FCCA was created with the goal of connecting waiting children with permanent, loving families.

At the heart of this mission is our California Waiting Child Program, also known as “fos-adopt.” Through this program, we connect hopeful adoptive parents with children who are waiting for a loving, nurturing home.

If you are interested in adopting a child in California, then FCCA can provide all the services you need for your adoption, including:

Read on to learn more about our fos-adopt program, and you can contact us online to get more free information now.

Who Are the California Children for Adoption?  

Foster kids in California come from many different backgrounds and range from infants to teenagers. These children enter foster care in California for reasons often out of their control.

Although many foster children are eventually reunited with their biological parents, many others need homes because they cannot safely return to their birth families. In California alone, more than 50,000 children are in foster care.

FCCA’s California Waiting Child Program focuses on low-legal-risk placements from California foster care, meaning that the child is highly unlikely to return to the birth parents’ care or be placed with another relative.

The majority of children in this low-risk program are:

  • Children, ages 4 and up, of minority racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • Sibling groups of two, three or more children of all ages
  • Single children of all races, ages 6 and older
  • Children of all ages who have disabilities

Although some infants and toddlers are available for adoption in California foster care, most of those situations have a higher legal risk.  Meanwhile, families interested in adopting older children are always in short supply. Many older kids available for adoption need permanent, loving families before aging out of the foster system.

Each month, FCCA receives information about hundreds of foster kids in California who are waiting for adoption. It is up to each family to determine the characteristics of the child they feel equipped to parent, including the child’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Medical needs
  • And more

To learn more about the foster children and babies for adoption in California, please view this California adoption photo listing.

Why FCCA’s Program Is Different

In most foster-to-adopt California programs, a family agrees to provide temporary care for children who have entered the foster system. But, the ultimate goal is for these children to be reunited with their biological families.

If that doesn’t happen, then those foster parents are usually given the first chance to adopt the child. But, it is uncertain when or if a foster child will be available for adoption.

Unlike those agencies and programs, FCCA will never ask you to be “just” a foster family; only the specific child you hope to adopt will be placed in your home.

Our fos-adopt program offers many of the same benefits as other foster care adoption programs, including low costs and minimal wait times. With us, though, you don’t have to face the uncertainty of fostering to adopt or the likelihood of reunification.

How to Adopt a Foster Child in California in 6 Steps

FCCA can provide all the services you need to adopt from foster care in California, and we will be with you through each step of the process. Here’s how to adopt a child in California through our fos-adopt program:

Step 1: Attend an information session 

Families that are interested in adopting a child in California should attend one of our free, monthly information sessions. During this session, you will learn more about adopting from foster care and how to foster a child in California for adoption.

Step 2: Complete the adoption home study and foster care approval 

Before you can adopt a foster child in California, your home must be certified as a foster home or approved as a Resource Family home. It must meet all state regulations in this area. The adoption home study — which refers to both the process and the final approval document — includes training classes, paperwork, individual interviews and an in-home visit with an FCCA social worker.

Step 3: Search for waiting children 

Once your home study has been approved, your social worker will begin searching through photo listings and gathering county information about kids for adoption in California. They will search for waiting children who would be the perfect fit for your family according to your adoption preferences.

Step 4: Submit an inquiry 

If we or you identify a child who might be a good fit for your family, then FCCA will submit your home study to the county social worker. That worker will decide whether your family is a good fit for that child. This process may include a disclosure meeting to learn about the child and in-person visits with the child before a decision is made.

Step 5: Receive placement of the child 

Once a child is placed with you, the FCCA worker and the county social worker will visit the child at least once each month in your home. The FCCA worker is required to interview the child privately and review the foster care certification checklist to ensure ongoing compliance with state regulations. More importantly, the social worker’s goal is to provide you with the adoption resources you need as your family adjusts.

Step 6: Finalize the adoption 

After a minimum of six months in the home and once all parental rights have been terminated, the adoption can be finalized. Unlike most other agencies, which require you to hire and pay for an attorney, FCCA will prepare your finalization paperwork for free and file it with the court after you sign it. When the hearing date has been set, your job will be to appear with the child at the courthouse and celebrate the newest addition to your family!

Most families complete the California foster care adoption process within 10–22 months of joining our agency. But, FCCA’s services do not end with finalization; we will remain available to answer your questions and provide additional resources as you need them. And don’t forget to stay in touch with us — we love receiving annual holiday photos, graduation announcements and the like. We consider you part of our family!

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Foster Child through FCCA?

Compared to other types of adoption, foster care adoption is one of the most affordable ways you can add to your family. At our agency, most families spend about $2,000. This cost includes:

  • FCCA’s home study fee
  • Fingerprint and medical exam costs
  • Mileage for the initial home visit
  • Costs for expedited document delivery
  • Court filing fees

Also, children adopted through the California foster system qualify for the state’s Adoption Assistance Program. This includes:

  • A monthly subsidy
  • Medical coverage (Medicaid or Medi-Cal)
  • Payment for a potential out-of-home placement
  • Reimbursement of non-recurring adoption fees ($400 maximum per adopted child)
  • And more

If eligible, then your child can continue to benefit from this program until they’re 21. It also continues regardless of what state or country you live in.

The Pros and Cons of Adopting through Foster Care

Over the years, FCCA has helped build thousands of happy families through our California Waiting Child Program. For those families, the advantages of foster care adoption are abundant. A handful of these benefits include:

  • Our focus on low-risk adoptive placements. Although adoption can be an elusive goal in most traditional foster care programs, FCCA focuses exclusively on placing children in permanent homes. Because we select lower-legal-risk placements, your child is highly unlikely to be returned to their birth parents.
  • Lower costs. Our program does not involve the legal fees, birth parent expenses or the other costs of different types of adoption; most families can adopt with us for about $2,000. This initial cost will be compensated by the monthly foster care payments that the family receives between placement and finalization.
  • Shorter wait times. With so many children waiting to be adopted in California, most adoptive parents find an adoption opportunity at our agency within six months of completing the home study. Of course, some families are matched faster, and others wait longer, especially if they want to adopt a child younger than 4.
  • More choices. You will decide the types of adoption opportunities that work for your family, including the child’s age, gender, race, medical background and more.
  • Making a difference in a child’s life. All children deserve loving families and safe homes. By adopting a child from foster care, you can help fulfill that need and provide a lifetime of opportunities that the child wouldn’t have otherwise.

Adopting a foster child can be a rewarding experience for the adoptive family and the child alike. But, foster care adoption is not right for everyone. Before beginning the fos-adopt process, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • There may be fewer babies to adopt through foster care. Although some toddlers and babies are available for adoption through the foster system, most children up for foster care adoption are older. Families that want to adopt a baby may want to pursue domestic infant adoption or enroll in both foster care and domestic infant adoption programs.
     
  • Some foster children have disabilities. Many children in the foster system have one or several disabilities. These could include certain mental, physical, developmental or medical challenges. It is important for adoptive families to do their research and be honest about the types of needs they can accommodate.
     
  • Foster children may face emotional and behavioral challenges. Children who have spent time in foster care have usually experienced prior abuse, neglect or other trauma. This can create bonding, attachment and behavioral issues that parents should be prepared to manage. FCCA provides extensive pre-adoption training that addresses these challenges.

Although foster care and adoption can be difficult at times, the families who have been through this process firmly believe that the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

If you are interested in adopting an older child from foster care, then fill out our online contact form to get more adoption information now. We would be happy to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your adoption goals.