There are thousands of children in the state of California who are waiting to be adopted. In foster care alone, there are about 58,000 children awaiting permanent placement with a family through adoption. Adoption is a great way to give these children a chance at a potentially happy and stable family. There are several ways in which an adoption may take place in the state of California, as long as the legal steps are followed to make sure the adoption is properly finalized. In some adoption cases one of the steps is the requirement of a home study. The following lays out some of the specifics for home studies and adoption in California.
Home studies and adoption in California go hand-in-hand. A home study is a pre-placement process required for adoptive parents in most adoptions (adult adoptions excluded) in which parents seeking to adopt a child undergo interviews, education, background checks, and a visit to their home in preparation of a child being placed in their home. The parents also need to show evidence that they are healthy and not suffering from life-threatening illnesses, as well as letters from references familiar with them. The home the child is to be placed in is also checked to make sure it is clean, safe, and that the child will have a place to sleep. A home study prior to adoption is required under California law, is conducted by a social worker or a private agency properly licensed to complete home studies. The California Department of Social Services issues regulations governing the assessment of home studies.
When are Home Studies Conducted in California Adoption?
Home studies are mainly conducted for independent adoptions and stepparent adoptions. Independent adoptions are those which involve the birth parents and adoptive parents without the use of an adoption agency; instead, the parties work with a properly licensed Adoption Service Provider. Rules regulate how an independent adoption must proceed and how the parties should act to carry out a legal adoption. In independent adoptions, the natural parents are allowed a certain amount of time to change their mind on the adoption and the adoptive parents agree to return the child if the birth parents change their minds.
The results of a home study can affect whether or not an adoption is approved. For example, generally people with certain convictions for crimes such as sexual assault and spousal abuse cannot receive approval to adopt a child. If someone living in the prospective adoptive home also has these convictions, the adoption cannot be approved.
When the home study is complete, the final report is submitted to the court handling the adoption in about six months. The court then makes a determination as to whether or not the adoption should go ahead.
A People’s Choice Provides Low-Cost California Adoption Help
If you are considering filing an adoption in California and want to avoid the high cost of attorney’s fees, contact A People’s Choice for low-cost legal document help. Although we cannot give legal advice, A People’s Choice can help you in preparing all the required legal documents to help you file adoption without having to hire a lawyer.
If you need more information about the California adoption process, do not hesitate to call our office. A People’s Choice has been providing self-help legal document services for over 30 years and has established an excellent reputation in the community. When you are ready to go ahead with your paperwork, information can be provided to us through our convenient online system, over the phone or in person.
A People’s Choice can prepare California adoption documents for filing in every county in California. We also offer courtesy filing services with the appropriate court.