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Adoption: Becoming a Forever Family

Many children and youth need and want forever families -- A home where they’re always welcome, where there are people who care, to whom they feel connected. Where they belong.

When foster children cannot safely return to their birth parents, one option is for the child to be adopted by a new family.

Steps to Adoption

The path to adopting a foster child or youth starts with becoming an approved foster/resource family. 

    While there are some additional procedures, adoptive parents follow the same steps as those parents who choose to care temporarily for foster children.  

    Foster-adopt parents can say, even from their first call with our staff, they’d like to become foster parents of children who are more likely be legally authorized for adoption. However, it's important to know that even after placement in your home, a child’s circumstances can change.

    For a foster child to be authorized by the Superior Court for adoption, the birth parents must legally give up their parental rights, a process that can take some time. Foster-adopt parents must be willing to care for children while knowing that they could be reunited with their birth families or placed instead with relatives or an adult the child already knows. 

    The foster-adopt parent completes an Adoption Inquiry form and meets with an adoption specialist. The adoption specialist talks through the foster-adopt parent’s preferences about gender, age, the parent’s personal strengths, the situation and make-up of the home and other issues.

    When the foster parent is ready to move forward, the adoption specialist guides her or him through the process toward a legal Adoptive Placement. After the Adoptive Placement is complete and the child is living in the foster parent's home, our staff continue supervision, services and support to help the family adjust to the new living situation. 

    The finalization of legal adoption is completed through court proceedings. That event is a time of celebration for the newly enriched family, their friends, relatives and others in the child's and family's support group.

    Contact Information

    Family, Youth and Children's Services
    Human Services Department
    Business Hours
    Monday – Friday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Contact us by Phone
    1202 Apollo Way
    Santa Rosa, CA 95407

    Child Protection 24/7 Hotline

    (707) 565-4304 / (800) 870-7064

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    Your call makes a difference. Report concerns of abuse or neglect 24/7.

    Local Foster & Adoption Agencies

    Local Foster Care Agencies

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    Learn about other ways to become a foster parent