As an expectant parent, you may be wondering about adoption in California and how to find adoption agencies in California. You may be a hopeful adoptive parent about to begin the process of adopting in California, and also wondering how to navigate the process of learning about adoption agencies in California. This article will provide some of the answers and information you are seeking at this point in the process. You may have a lot of questions and maybe feel even overwhelmed by all of the information available to you. Educating yourself on your options and learning as much as you can at this stage of the process, whether you are curious or absolutely ready to make an adoption plan, is critical.

I was the Executive Director of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services. The Joint Council on International Children’s Services served to advocate for vulnerable children and their right to live in permanent family care. We were the first organization of our kind to provide a standard of practice for adoption agencies. Originally formed in 1975 as an association of adoption agencies, the organization served as a centralized source for information about adoption agencies. It also helped hopeful adoptive parents and expectant parents who wanted to know which were the best, most transparent, and ethical adoption agencies in their state. For example, which were the best adoption agencies in California.

When I worked at the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, before its closure, most of the questions I would receive would be calls from prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents alike wondering how they could find the best adoption agency in their state. This is not an easy question to answer now and it was not then. Each of the adoption agencies in California has its own specific strengths and things they excel at doing for children, birth parents, and hopeful adoptive parents. Each member of the adoption triad (that is the birth mother, the child who will be adopted, and hopeful adoptive parents) will receive different support services from each respective adoption agency. It is important to go into the process knowing what is important to you and what you would like from an adoption agency. Asking the right questions early in the process is a good start.

A good way to start your process of finding the best adoption agencies in California is to make a list of all of the questions you have for your adoption agency. You may want to start by highlighting questions that are specifically important to you and your adoption journey. It is also smart to start searching adoption agencies in California as the first step on your adoption journey as either a hopeful adoptive parent or expectant parent.

Adoption can seem overwhelming. You may have found yourself unexpectedly expecting a child and be just starting the process of learning more about all of your options. Adoption may just be one option out of many for you and your baby. Expectant parents may feel overwhelmed and even nervous about contacting an adoption agency. It is important to know that at this point in the process and at every point you are in control of the process and the decisions you make for you and your baby. There is no obligation to choose any specific adoption agency. You can interview as many as you like at any stage of your pregnancy or after the birth of your baby. Adoption agencies in California want expectant parents to contact them to ask questions and learn more about their options. Understanding what services adoption agencies in California provide and how each agency differs from one another is important. You can meet with as many adoption agencies as you like. You can also decide to go with an adoption agency and change your mind about them and go with another adoption agency at any time in the process. You should never feel any coercion to work with a certain agency or to place your baby for adoption or to create an adoption plan. You can change your mind at any point in the process no matter what. A good agency will not only make that clear throughout your adoption planning, but they will also reinforce this knowledge with understanding if you do change your mind.

There are a lot of great adoption agencies in California. Many of these adoption agencies have been in operation for many years and have served hundreds, if not thousands of adoptive parents, children, and birth parents. One such adoption agency is The Gladney Center for Adoption. The Gladney Center for Adoption is a wonderful, well-respected adoption agency located in Texas, however, the agency and their social workers support birth mothers and fathers in California. Birth mothers and birth fathers in California can work with The Gladney Center for Adoption to support them in creating an adoption plan for their baby—if the birth parents believe this is the best option for their baby and their family.

The Gladney Center for Adoption will work with the expectant mother and/or father in California through the adoption agency’s incredibly helpful, supportive, and unique step-by-step adoption process for developing an adoption plan. The Gladney Center for Adoption first works with the birth mother and birth father to understand what is most important to them as the expectant parents and what is most important to them for their baby and their baby’s life and future. The Gladney Center for Adoption offers multiple wonderful and unique services for expectant parents including counseling from an options counselor for the birth parents. Gladney’s option counselors assist the expectant parents in getting their questions answered and listening to them and all of their concerns and inquiries. Using The Gladney Center for Adoption and their option counselor does not mean that the expectant parents must create an adoption plan or go through with choosing adoption for their baby. Rather, the options counselors are a free service offered by Gladney to the expectant parents to assist them in working through some of their many questions during this time. Options counselors at Gladney care a great deal and will factually answer any questions the expectant parents may have at this time. They make the process of finding answers to questions easy. Expectant parents can connect with the options counselors through email, live chat, phone, or in-person.

After talking to the Gladney options counselor, the expectant parents may decide they wish to learn more about creating an adoption plan for their baby. If this is the case, Gladney Center for Adoption will connect them with an adoption caseworker who will be the person who will support the expectant parents through every single step of the adoption process and pregnancy and birth.

First, the options counselors would work with the expectant parents to ensure they fully understand the process of adoption. Next, they would work with the birth parents to help select a hopeful adoptive family for their child. Gladney Center for Adoption is unique in that they work with many hopeful adoptive parents who are already pre-screened by their respective social workers and through a home study in their state. They may live in California like the birth mother or they may live in another state. It may also be the opposite that the birth parents live in another state and the hopeful adoptive parents live in California.

The Gladney Center for Adoption or any of the many other great adoption agencies in California would work with the hopeful adoptive parents to ensure that a home study is completed by licensed social workers in their respective states. The adoption home study will approve the prospective adoptive parents for adoption. The home study will ensure that they are safe, loving hopeful parents who will be able to prove a loving forever home and become family for the expectant parent’s baby. Gladney will work with prospective adoptive families who are using them as an adoption agency to create a profile as a couple and a family so that expectant parents can understand more about who they are as a couple and family. This includes information like what their values, hopes, and dreams are for themselves and their future adopted child. There is no rush to select a family for your baby, however, the Gladney Center for Adoption or any other adoption agency in California with whom you choose to work will help you select a prospective adoptive family if and when you are ready to take that step.

When it is time to deliver your baby at the end of your pregnancy, the Gladney Center for Adoption, or any other adoption agency in California you choose, will help support your conversations with your adoption caseworker and medical doctors to create a birth plan for you and your child during labor and delivery. This birth plan is separate from your adoption plan and will be your wishes during your birth in terms of what medical interventions you want and who you want for support in the room during the birth of your baby. It will also detail how long you wish to bond with your child alone before inviting anyone else into the room including the adoptive parents. The birth plan will also list whether you want the hopeful adoptive parents in the room with you at any point during labor or delivery. Whatever you decide is your choice and yours alone. It is what you want for you and your baby; there is no right or wrong plan or decision.

The Gladney Center for Adoption does not believe that the support services for birth parents should end at the birth of the baby. This is one of the ways that they are an exceptional agency. Through Gladney’s Next Steps program, the adoption agency will work with birth parents after the delivery of the baby to provide training for them to meet the goals they laid out at the beginning of the process. Just as you have hopes and dreams for your baby, they also want you to create hopes and dreams for yourself. The Gladney Center for Adoption can help the birth parents with training to find a place to live, secure a good career, and complete their high school or college education. The support groups that the Gladney Center for Adoption offers for birth parents extend long after the adoption is finalized and the baby is placed with their adoptive parents. Adoption is a lifelong journey for every member of the adoption triad, and Gladney supports each member throughout their lifetime.

There are many other great adoption agencies in California. It is important that both expectant parents and adoptive parents research and interview the agencies they are interested in as they make their decision. Adoption in California has unique laws and requirements that other states in the United States do not have. It is important that whatever adoption agency in California you choose, that they understand the adoption laws, rules, and regulations in California. That way the agency will help you navigate the legalities of adoption in California. They need to understand how adoption consent paperwork works in California. Additionally, they should know the expenses that can be paid to birth mothers during the pregnancy and after the birth of the baby to help with their living expenses. Adoption should not cost an expectant mother any money.

The support from the agency, as discussed above, does not end at the birth of your baby. Good adoption agencies in California will support you even after the adoption is complete. As an expectant parent, you may feel a great deal of emotions during the pregnancy, and after you place your baby for adoption. Look for an agency that will be able to offer you counseling and help during this difficult time and in the future. Remember that the choice you make to make an adoption plan for your baby is yours and yours alone. Great adoption agencies in California will support whatever choice you make for you and your baby. Trust yourself and seek an adoption agency where you will receive the support you need, even if you do not choose to go through with the adoption plan.