How to Adopt a Baby in California

There are 7 steps in the domestic infant adoption process. To successfully complete the process and welcome your newborn into your family, you'll need the support of a fully licensed adoption agency.

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Below is more information about adopting a baby in California and the services we can provide along the way.

If you want to learn more about our domestic adoption program, fees, and services, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation or attend one of our upcoming adoption information sessions.

How to Adopt a Baby in California [The Infant Adoption Process]

Once you have decided that adopting a newborn 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 are the typical steps adoptive families will take when adopting a baby in California with FCCA:

Step 1. Complete an Adoption Home Study

All hopeful adoptive parents must have an approved California home study before they can finalize the adoption of the infant.

The home study includes:

  • A review of documents, including birth certificates, health records and more
  • Background checks
  • An in-home visit
  • Interviews with a social worker
  • And more

As a fully licensed California adoption agency, we can provide the home study services you need to complete this important step of the process for your international or foster care adoptions.

If you are pursuing a domestic adoption, American Adoptions has streamlined the process to help you avoid losing time and money or facing inaccuracies throughout the completion of your home study.

Step 2. 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. The profile is a way to put your best foot forward and show the type of life you will give to a child.

Our families work with a professional media company that provides assistance in creating your profile. This gives you the best chance of connecting with a prospective birth parent when you are trying to adopt a baby in California.

Step 3. Find an Adoption Opportunity

Once you have an approved home study and an adoptive family profile, you will wait to accept an adoption opportunity — which is when a prospective birth parent chooses your family. Depending on the agency you work with, this can either be a short or very long wait.

Because of our national scope, we are able to reach more prospective birth parents than most other professionals, resulting in shorter adoption wait times. This is important because we know you’ve already waited long enough.

When 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.

Step 4. 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.

Your specialist will mediate this pre-placement contact to help protect each party’s identifying information.

Step 5. 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.” 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 California 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.

Step 6. Finalize the Adoption

After placement, we will supervise the placement of the child with the adoptive parents for a minimum of four visits over six months.

Once you have satisfied all post-placement requirements, the infant adoption can be finalized in court.

Your specialist and your attorney 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.

Step 7. 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.  

Taking Your Next Steps

While the infant 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 us, please contact us today for additional information about our domestic adoption program, as well as your other options when adopting a baby in California.

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.