What California requires of couples who want to adopt
Adoption can be a blessing for couples who for some reason cannot have children themselves or who wish to add to their families.
In California, the Department of Social Services investigates every person who wishes to adopt a child. A department social worker will submit a report to the court based on the person’s findings, a process that typically takes as long as six months. If allowed by the court, the department can take even longer to submit its report.
California’s family law statutes set the cost of each investigation at $4,500. The CDSS will submit its court report once it receives 50 percent of that cost. The fee for conducting an investigation with a complete pre-placement evaluation report before adoption is $1,550. The evaluation report must be less than 365 days old and meet the state’s family law requirements for an adoption to proceed. The cost of an investigation with a valid report accompanied by a home study is $1,550. The home study should be less than 24 months old when the adoption petition is filed. Once it is filed, a copy of the document and 50 percent of the fee must be sent to the CDSS.
The six-month time frame begins when the adoption agency has received a copy of the court filing and half of the fee. The remaining 50 percent of the fee must be paid on the date set by the adoption agency. The CDSS is not allowed to file the final court document unless the remaining 50 percent of the fee is paid. The fees for all of the investigatory work conducted by the CDSS about the potential adoption are not refundable to the applicant. The state fees cannot be waived by the DPSS, but they may be reduced in some cases.
Source: ChildsWorld.CA.gov, “Fact Sheet,” accessed on Dec. 4, 2014