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What types of adoption are available in California?

Prospective parents in California hoping to adopt a child often do so because they want to grow their family and give a child in need a safe and loving home. There are many choices when it comes to adoption in California, including agency adoption, independent adoption and intercountry adoption. California residents may wonder what the difference between these three types of adoptions are.

Let's start with agency adoptions. This type of adoption goes through either a public adoption agency, a licensed private adoption agency or a California Department of Social Services office. In this type of adoption, the child's biological parents relinquish their parental rights, either via a filing of a relinquishment or via a court order. After that, the adoption agency is given the legal responsibility for caring for the child. The agency studies the parents wishing to adopt a child and ultimately gives its approval before the adoption is complete. Even after the child is placed with the adoptive parents, the situation will be supervised for at least six months before the adoption will be approved by the court.

Through independent adoption, the child's biological parents decide who the adoptive parents will be and place the child directly in their care. In order to do so, however, the biological parents need to receive information about their rights, responsibilities and options. This information must be given to them via an Adoption Service Provider. In addition, the biological parents also have to sign an Independent Adoption Placement Agreement. After 30 days, this agreement turns into an irrevocable consent to adoption.

In intercountry adoptions, prospective parents adopt a child from another country. Children adopted through these means must be eligible for federally mandated special immigration visas. In addition, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services must classify these children as orphans. There are other requirements that must be met as well for intercountry adoption.

This is only a brief overview of adoption in California. Adoption is a wonderful way to help a child in need. Residents of California who wish to adopt a child should make sure they are fully informed about the adoption process before proceeding. A family law attorney may be a good asset in such situations.

Source:, "Adoption FAQs," accessed Nov. 7, 2016

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