Q: WHAT IS AN ADOPTION HOME STUDY?
The Adoption Home Study process is basically the same whether one is doing Fost/Adopt, Independent or International adoption. Although some of the paperwork may be slightly different, the general principals are the same. The Adoption Home Study regulations are mandated by the State of California.
The Adoption Home study is a chance for the Social Worker to get to know you and your family. It consists of interviews with all family members living in your home, both individually and jointly. Prospective adoptive parents must complete paperwork that deals with issues such as finances, health, employment, family of origin and parenting.
Documentation such as marriage certificates, divorce documents, military discharge and child support information will be requested. Prospective adoptive parents will have to give permission to have criminal and child abuse clearances and will have to provide the Social Worker with personal references. All family members will have to complete a physical exam and be free of TB.
Once all of the interviews have taken place and the documentation is complete, a written assessment is prepared with a recommendation regarding the family and their ability to parent an adopted child.
Q: IS THERE A COST FOR THE FOST/ADOPT PROCESS?
SCFFAA charges for for the Adoption Home Study on a sliding scale basis. Once an adoption is finalized though the foster care system the full fee is reimbursed to you. A payment schedule can be implemented if necessary. There may be other incidental costs, such as a LiveScan (criminal clearances) costs or ordering necessary documents, such as a marriage certificate.
Up to $400.00 of non-recurring adoption expenses are reimbursed to you by the county after the adoption is finalized. Additionally, there is a substantial tax credit for everyone who finalizes an adoption that an accountant can explain further.
Q: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HAVE A FOST/ADOPT CHILD PLACED IN MY HOME?
Once you are a certified foster parent a child can be placed in your home immediately. The child is placed as a foster child.
The characteristics of the child you would like to have in your home plays a large part in how quickly a child will be placed with you. The more open you are to older children, sibling groups and different ethnicities the faster you can be matched with a child.
Additionally, the amount of risk a family is willing to take regarding the reunification plans of a child affects the time frame.
Q: WHAT AREAS DO YOU SERVE FOR AN ADOPTION HOME STUDY?
SCFFAA provides home studies for independent (private/domestic) adoptions in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara County.
Q: WITH THE FOST/ADOPT PROCESS HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE THE ADOPTION IS FINALIZED?
There are many factors involved in a case moving though the fost/adopt process. Once parental rights have been terminated an adoption can be finalized in approximately 6 months.
However, a child can be place with you on a foster care basis for as long as one to two years before parental rights are terminated. Much depends on how far long the case is in the legal process when a child is placed with you.
Q: WHAT IS THE COST OF AN INDEPENDENT ADOPTION?
The cost varies depending on a variety of factors, such as attorney fees, medial costs of the birthmother and whether or not the birthmother needs living expenses. There are State Guidelines about what can and cannot be paid for and the amount of support which can be given. The attorney you choose to work with will be able to give you more detailed information.
Q: WHAT IS THE COST OF THE ADOPTION HOMESTUDY IN AN INDEPENDENT ADOPTION?
The cost is $2,000.00.
Q: WHO CHOOSES THE FAMILY FOR THE CHILD IN AN INDEPENDENT ADOPTION?
The birthparent(s) choose the adoptive parents for their child.
Q: DOES A CHILD IN AN INDEPENDENT ADOPTION HAVE TO GO INTO THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM?
No. A child may be discharged from the hospital directly to the adoptive parents.
Q: DOES THERE HAVE TO BE CONTACT BETWEEN THE BIRTHPARENT AND ADOPTIVE PARENT(S) AFTER THE CHILD IS ADOPTED?
Whether or not there is continued contact is at the discretion of the adoptive parent(s) and the birthparent(s). Legally there does not have to be contact, however it is important to assess what is in the best interest of everyone involved.