How Long Does It Take to Adopt a Child in California?

If you are considering adopting a child, you might have already spent months or years trying to bring a new addition to your family. Now, eager to start your adoption process and finally become a parent, you are probably wondering, “How long does it take to adopt a child in California?”

There is no single answer to this question. Every adoption process is different, and each family’s adoption wait times are based on many factors. Therefore, it’s important that you understand what these factors are and how each individual adoption process works before deciding which is best for you — especially if you wish to adopt a child within a certain time period.

Our adoption counselors are here to help. Our agency completes all three kinds of adoptions — private domestic infant, international and foster care adoption — and we can discuss in detail the adoption wait times you can expect with each. We can answer all of your questions about how long it takes to adopt in California, as well as how you can limit the time you spend waiting for an adoption placement.

Below, you’ll find some average adoption wait times for each of these processes. But, for more information on what your personal adoption journey may look like, please contact our closest office to you.

Private Domestic Infant Adoption

How long does it take to adopt a baby in California?

If you are interested in adopting a baby, the private domestic infant adoption process will be the best fit for you. This program specifically focuses on matching pregnant mothers considering adoption with families for their babies. Private domestic infant adoption is the only process that can guarantee placement of an infant with hopeful adoptive parents.

As you can imagine, private domestic infant adoption across the U.S. is a popular choice for hopeful parents. Because of this, adoption wait times for an infant can be longer than other processes. On average in the U.S., 82 to 84 percent of families working with an agency or an adoption attorney were matched within two years.

However, some families’ adoption processes are faster or slower than that average. This is because the prospective birth mother in the main factor in the adoption process. Ultimately, this woman chooses the family with whom she wants to place her baby. While a family can do things to reduce their adoption wait time, how long it takes to adopt will depend upon when they are chosen by an expectant mother.

To be considered by more prospective birth mothers, hopeful parents can expand their preferences for an adopted child (factors such as race, gender, age, or medical background), post-adoption communication and budget. The more open prospective parents are to different situations, the more adoption opportunities that will be presented to them.

For more information on California adoption wait times for families in our private domestic infant adoption program, please contact our agency.

International Adoption

How long does it take to adopt a child from a different country?

Just like with private domestic infant adoption, many factors impact how long adoption takes in a different country. The most determinative factors are from which country you wish to adopt, and the kind of child that you wish to adopt.

Every country has different processes and requirements for adopting a child. Adoptive parents must go through different steps confirming their eligibility to adopt, as well as finding the right adoption opportunity for their family. Before you choose a path for adoption, make sure you understand the expected wait time for an adoption placement through that country. Here are a few examples of international adoption wait times:

For more information on how long the adoption process takes through FCCA’s Hong Kong adoption program, please contact our agency.

Foster Care Adoption

How long does it take to adopt a child through foster care?

Foster care adoption is actually one of the quickest ways to adopt a child in California. In comparison to private domestic infant and international adoption, foster care adoption is much faster.

Hopeful parents must always complete pre-placement training and an adoption home study. Once these requirements are completed (usually within four months), most families receive an adoption placement within six months. While the adoption cannot be finalized for at least another six to 18 months, the quick placement of a child within a family is something that many adoptive parents look for in their family-building process.

For more information about FCCA’s fos-adopt program, please contact our agency or attend one of our free information sessions.


Not sure which adoption program is right for you? Our staff is here to help. They can answer any questions you may have, including the average adoption wait times in California with our agency. For more information about our adoption programs, contact our agency today.

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