Adoption


Valley Teen Ranch received our Adoption License from the State of California, Department of Social Services in 1998.  Sometimes the children placed in our foster homes become adoptable and we are there to assist the foster parents in that process.  

 

Adoption provides permanency for children needing a permanent family to belong to. Special attention is given to finding a match between the psychological and physical needs of the child and the commitments and abilities of the adoptive parents.

 

We also provide home studies for adoptive families needing that service.


 

Prospective Adoptive Parents FAQs

  1. What is adoption?
  2. How do fost/adopt adoptions, private agency adoptions, and independent adoptions differ?
  3. What is closed and open adoption?
  4. Do you do international adoptions?
  5. About the fost/adopt children:
  6. How do I adopt a child?
  7. How much does it cost to adopt?
  8. Will I have to quit my job if I become a foster or adoptive parent?
  9. I don’t own my own home, or live in an apartment. May I adopt?
  10. May single persons adopt?
  11. How long will it take to adopt a child?
  12. What is the difference between adoption and guardianship?
  13. Can I talk to some of the families that have adopted through your agency?

What is adoption?

 

Adoption is a legal process, which permanently gives parental rights to adoptive parents. Adoption means taking a child into your home as a permanent family member.  It means each parent is suitable for adoption and a. Is at least 10 years older than the child; b. Will treat the child as his or her own; c. Will support and care for the child; d. Has a suitable home for the child and e. Agrees to adopt the child.  When the adoption is finalized the adopting parents and the child have the legal relationship of parent and child, with all the rights and duties of this relationship, including the right of inheritance.

 

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How do fost/adopt adoptions, private agency adoptions, and independent adoptions differ?

 

In fost/adopt adoptions, CDSS (California Department of Social Services) places the child for adoption.  Because the child is in various stages of the court system (due to being removed from the custody of their biological parents for various reasons), the adoptive parents will foster the child for at least six months before the adoption becomes final.  Fost/Adopt adoption fees are waived through the Private Adoption Agency Reimbursement Program (PAARP) where VTR Adoption Agency receives reimbursement of costs related to adoption and recruitment of adoptive families for special needs children.  Fost/adopt parents receive a monthly reimbursement until the child is 18-years-old from The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP).  AAP is a federally mandated benefit available to families who adopt a child from the out of home care system.  The child also has access to Medi-Cal insurance until he or she is 18-years-old.  The vast majorities of adoptions done by Valley Teen Ranch are fost/adopt.

 

In private agency adoptions, a child is available for adoption through the filing of a relinquishment by one or both birth parents.  The adoption agency becomes legally responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child. The agency studies and approves adoptive applicants before placing a child in their home for adoption, then supervises the placement for six months before the court approves the adoption.  In this case, birth parents are usually allowed the privilege of selecting adoptive parents for their child(ren).  Adoptions by relinquishment cost a fee, and the fee and services vary per agency.  VTR provides these services, yet it is recommended that adoptive parents who wish to work with a birth mother seek out a private adoption agency first.

 

In an independent adoption, birth parents do not go through an agency, but rather a lawyer, and choose the prospective parents  (who are also working with a lawyer) and place the child directly with them.  This costs a fee and Valley Teen Ranch does not assist with independent adoptions.

 

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What is closed and open adoption?

 

In a closed adoption, the birth mother, birth father, and you (the adopting family) are anonymous. While you may or may not meet and may share first names at the hospital or at placement, no identifying information such as last names, addresses, social security numbers, is exchanged. In an open adoption, the birth mother, birth father and you exchange identifying information and after the placement you may or may not have ongoing contact with each other.

 

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Do you do international adoptions?

 

We do not have the capability of matching you with an international child.  However, we can refer you to international agencies that we have worked with and in which we have had success.  Regardless, if you do not choose a local international agency, you will have to “hire” both an international agency AND a local adoption agency to do your home study and post adoption visits and reports.  Valley Teen Ranch is able to provide this service to you.  We have assisted with home studies for international adoptions from China and Ethiopia, just to name a few.  Valley Teen Ranch will communicate with your international agency to make sure that all of the country’s requirements are met and that your journey is as smooth as possible.  Most home studies for international adoptions can be completed in just a matter of weeks.

 

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About the fost/adopt children:

 

Some foster children are in the child welfare system awaiting permanent homes. They are male and female of all ages.  Parental rights to these children have been terminated, or in the process of being terminated by court order. The county or CDSS selects permanent homes in which to make an adoptive placement. Potential adoptive parents are informed of special needs or significant problems, which the child may have or may encounter. Information provided by the child’s caseworker depicts the child and describes the adjustments and challenges the child will have to overcome once placed with an adoptive family.

Valley Teen Ranch uses online databases of available children, county referrals, and other tools to bring children and families together.  We will work with you to find the best match for your family.  We will never submit you for a child without your consideration and permission.

 

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How do I adopt a child?

 

If you would like to fost/adopt a child, please contact us to speak with one of our social workers about the adoption process.  This will include an orientation at your convenience. After the orientation, if you make the decision to adopt, you must complete and submit a written application along with other items such as fingerprint clearances and references.  You will then be matched up with a professional social worker to discuss the type of child you wish to adopt and the children that are available. You must participate in a Home Study process, which consists of a thorough review of your criminal, medical, employment, financial, driving, emotional, marital and life history, and your home environment, as required by law. This process is a joint effort by the agency and the adoptive applicants. The agency then evaluates and determines your ability to provide a stable, safe, and permanent home to a child who is available for adoptive placement.

 

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How much does it cost to adopt?

 

Our adoption services are waived for fost/adopt adoptions (as we are reimbursed by the government).  Relinquishments and International Home Study services cost a fee, which varies per case.

 

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Will I have to quit my job if I become a foster or adoptive parent?

 

No. Both parents may be working as long as appropriate childcare arrangements are made.

 

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I don’t own my own home, or live in an apartment. May I adopt?

 

Yes. You don’t have to own a house to give a home. You may rent or own as long as your home is safe, has insurance, and has enough room for family members. What is most important is the love, understanding, and guidance you can offer a child.

 

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May single persons adopt?

 

Yes, single men and women may also adopt – through the fost/adopt program.

 

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How long will it take to adopt a child?

 

It can take anywhere from one to several months after the home study has been approved.

 

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What is the difference between adoption and guardianship?

 

Adoption is the permanent legal assumption of all parental rights and responsibilities for a child.  (Once you adopt a child, a new birth certificate is issued listing the adoptive parents as birth parents.)  Adoptive parents have the same legal rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born to them.

A guardian is someone appointed by the court to care for a child until he or she is 18. If you become a guardian, the court grants you the right to make most decisions regarding the child. A guardian is not a child’s legal parent and may be subject to ongoing supervision of the court. Guardianship does not give all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent to the guardian the way adoption does to an adoptive parent.

 

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Can I talk to some of the families that have adopted through your agency?

 

Absolutely.  We have many families that are happy to come alongside you and share their experiences and give you advice.

 

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