The Adoption Process

The adoption process in California is beautiful, and it is also complex. When you work with FCCA, you can feel hopeful, confident and secure as we guide you to a successful adoption placement.

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What is the process for adoption? FCCA is here to help you out.

Below, you can find out everything that you need to know about the adoption process in California with our agency. If you want to get more adoption information now, then you can contact us online whenever you need us.

How to Start the Adoption Process in California

So, what’s the adoption process like? First, you’ll attend a general information session to learn the basics of the child adoption process in California. At the end of the meeting, you’ll fill out an application and sign up for the next stage of the process for adoption — which is a series of adoption preparation classes.

To get started and attend your first information session, fill out our online contact form at any time.

We also want to mention that children under 16 are not permitted at these sessions. Although FCCA loves children, we want to respect couples dealing with infertility issues. Seeing plenty of children can be painful for them, and many of the issues discussed may not be appropriate for children to hear.

Adoption Preparation Class 1

Next, you’ll take your first of four classes that prepare you for the process to adopt a child. Usually, run by volunteer leaders in an adoptive family's home, this is a relaxed session where applicants can ask questions about the home study process and basic adoption information.

Panel of Adoptive Parents

One or more adoptive families will share their experiences and information about their process of adopting. This may be offered as a separate class or as part of another class such as an information session or one of the first two adoption preparation classes.

Intake Interview

You’ll meet with one of our professionals to determine whether FCCA can help you find the child you want to adopt. When FCCA helps you, you’ll receive:

  • Fingerprint forms
  • A list of documents you’ll need
  • Paperwork to complete

You’ll also sign our Adoption Services Agreement. To give you a better idea of what to expect, here is a sample of our international adoption agreement. All hopeful families that work with us will also need to read The Connected Child and submit a sheet of answers to some questions the book raises.

Adoption Preparation Classes 2 and 3 

In the second and third adoption process preparation classes, you’ll learn about “investment parenting,” which can:

  • Teach families about licensing and placement regulations and the child welfare process
  • Teach families how to genuinely connect with a waiting child
  • Teach families the best ways to heal trauma-based behaviors

The goal of these classes is to prepare you for the ultimate goal of the adoption process in California: Becoming the best parent possible for your child. To do that, you may need to challenge some of the ideas you hold about parenting, learn new concepts, and commit to a trauma-informed approach.

We will cover all of this (and more) in classes two and three.

Individual Interviews

Your social worker meets with each of you individually, at the agency office, during regular working hours. These appointments generally last between two and three hours each. After these meetings, your social worker will visit your home when all members of the household are present.

Adoption Preparation Class 4

The final California adoption process training class will usually be held on a Saturday and must be completed after the home study has been approved.  This is an in-depth class for parents of children in foster care. Almost all of these children have trauma-based behavioral issues.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is a unique model created by developmental psychologists Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross.  You’ll learn about the practical skills and strategies for applying TBRI principles to everyday life to build strong parent-child connections.

Child Search and Placement

In the case of domestic adoption, your social worker will help you search for a child. Families adopting internationally will follow the matching and placement process established by the child referral agency selected by the family. 

Post-Placement Services

In the foster adoption process, FCCA will coordinate regular visits for at least six months. For international adoption, we will complete the number of post-placement or post-adoption visits required by your child-placing agency.

For domestic adoption, we will complete at least four visits within six months. In all cases, we will complete written reports of all post-placement visits for the court to finalize the placement.

Finalization Services

We will help you complete the paperwork for the California adoption process finalization. Keep in mind that you’re responsible to pay the filing fee for the new birth certificate(s). You’ll also show up at the courthouse with the child for the hearing. Don't forget to bring your camera!

Speak to a Professional

If you have any more questions about the adoption process in California with FCCA, then we can always answer your questions. You can get more free information now when you contact us online.