As an expectant parent living in California, you may be researching San Jose adoption and how it works, where to begin, and what you need to know to move forward. You may have many questions at this point and may not be sure adoption is the right choice for you. However, getting as much information as you can regarding San Jose adoption can help you be informed to make the best choice for you and your baby.
First Steps in San Jose Adoption
The first thing to do as you begin your San Jose adoption research is to look for an adoption service provider. An adoption service provider is either an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Home study adoption agencies are also adoption service providers. It is important to understand that interviewing, researching, calling, or even committing to an adoption agency or adoption attorney does not mean that you need to use that adoption service provider. You can change your mind about what adoption agency or adoption attorney you choose to use. You can ask as many questions as you wish and start the process, even if you may change your mind. You may decide to create a San Jose adoption plan for your baby, change your mind, and then decide to parent your child. You are in full control of this process and all of the decisions you make for you and your baby. It is most important to be true to your heart and ensure that no one pressures you to make an adoption plan at any point in the process.
Finding an Adoption Agency or Adoption Attorney
So now that you have begun your research on San Jose adoption, the next step is to find an adoption agency or adoption attorney to help you on your journey. You may be wondering if you need an adoption agency or adoption attorney. You may have already found an adoptive family for your child through online adoption profiles or your house of worship, friend group, social media adoption posts, or family. You may think you do not need an adoption service provider since you already have an adoptive family chosen for your child. However, this is not true. There are many intricacies and legal documents that need to be completed according to federal and California state laws. A licensed adoption agency or adoption attorney can help you with all of these legal steps to ensure the adoption is finalized properly. They also will work with you to ensure that the adoptive family you choose for your child has a proper home study completed by a licensed home study provider or adoption agency in their state of residence. If the adoptive family does not live in San Jose or California, they will need to use an adoption agency or licensed home study provider in their state of residence. The adoption home study ensures that the hopeful adoptive parent or parents are safe and fit to care for a child of adoption as their forever family. Each state has its requirements, as does each adoption agency.
You may be wondering how to find an adoption agency to help complete your San Jose adoption. You may not have found an adoptive family for your child and will need the assistance of an adoption agency. One great place to start is on Adoption.com’s search tool at adoptiondirectory.com to find adoption agencies in San Jose. Once you narrow down a list of adoption agencies you would like to contact, it is important to come up with a list of questions to ask the adoption agency that are important to you. There are good examples of possible questions to ask, but it is more important to examine your heart and what is important to you. This is likely an entirely new process for you so only you know what questions you need to ask to get the answers you need. These answers will help you decide if creating an adoption plan is right for you and your baby and which adoption agency is best to help you make that plan.
One example of a great adoption agency that does San Jose adoption is The Gladney Center for Adoption. Gladney is located in Texas but works with expectant parents as well as hopeful adoptive parents in San Jose. They support expectant parents at each point of their journey. If you are not sure you wish to create an adoption plan for your baby, they have counselors who can discuss all of your options with you and give you the information you need to make the best decision for you and your baby. They will hold your hand throughout the entire process and support whatever decision you make at any stage of the process—whether you decide to create an adoption plan or parenting plan.
As you are interviewing potential San Jose adoption agencies, you may not be sure what you should ask. It is a good idea to understand what support services they offer to expectant parents, your child, and the adoptive parents. These are the members of the adoption triad and a great adoption agency will support all three parties in that adoption triad. Great adoption agencies will continue to offer support services long after the adoption is finalized. It is important to know what that looks like for each member and for how long.
A good adoption agency will work with hundreds of hopeful adoptive parents. They will have profiles of adoptive parents that match what you are looking for in a prospective adoptive family. It may be important for you to have an adoptive family for your baby that lives in San Jose or California. Or it may not matter to you where the adoptive family lives, but it may matter that their faith practice, religion, or values match yours and your family’s. It may be that you hope the adoptive family has other children through adoption or biological children. You may hope for an adoptive family where they do not have any children, but rather have struggled with the heartache of infertility. You may want a family with financial means for your child or a couple that has been happily married for many years. Understanding what is important for you will help you make the best decision for your baby’s adoptive family.
Once you have chosen an adoption agency or adoption attorney, they will work with you to look through adoption profiles for families with which they work so you can choose families you wish to meet or speak to on the phone. These profiles will include photos of the adoptive parent or couple. It will include photos of their children if they have any. They will include pictures of their home, community, friends, family, pets, and vacations. They will share information about their relationship, their values, their careers, and their education. You will get a better understanding of who they are and why they wish to build their family through adoption. You then can work with your adoption agency to meet with the prospective adoptive families you narrowed down until you find the right adoptive parents for your baby.
What is an adoption plan?
You may hear a great deal about adoption plans during this journey. It is a phrase used often during the adoption process. An adoption plan is simply a plan you put together with your adoption agency or adoption attorney on paper that details exactly what you want to happen during the pregnancy, during the adoption, and after the adoption placement is finalized. It may be as simple as information on you, your baby, and the information on the adoptive family you choose for your baby. Many expectant parents who choose a closed adoption include medical information for the sake of the child. It may include the level of communication you wish to have after you place your baby for adoption. The adoption plan can also be very thorough and have information on the level of openness you wish to have after the adoption is finalized, the level of communication you wish to have with the adoptive parents during the pregnancy, who you would like to be present at the birth, or when you wish the adoptive parents to meet your baby.
The level of openness you wish to have during the adoption journey with your baby and his or her adoptive parents is up to you. During this time you will speak with your adoption social worker at the adoption agency, counselors, and your adoption agency support counselors to decide on how much communication you want to have after you place your child for adoption. You may want to have regular visits or video calls. You may only want communication via email or text. You may want regular updates at milestones and holidays or birthdays without you communicating back. Some expectant parents plan to just receive a scrapbook through the adoption agency once a year.
Others want a closed adoption where they choose the adoptive parents without meeting them and without sharing identifying information. In the case of a closed adoption, they do not know who you are or how to contact you. This is much rarer in adoptions today. Closed adoptions were popular decades ago, but we know that they are usually not in the best interests of the expectant parents or their children. California is a closed adoption state, which means that should you choose a closed adoption, all identifying information on who the expectant parents and adoptive parents are is considered confidential. This means that adoption records will usually be sealed as a result of California state law. However, adoption laws change and even though San Jose adoptions may allow for confidential or closed adoptions with sealed adoption records, this does not mean that it will always be that way. Laws can change and courts can open sealed records, and it could mean your child could contact you one day.
Home Study in San Jose Adoption
The home study process is unique to each adoptive family and their situation, but the requirements and the information that need to be included are the same for each family per the state in which they reside. If they reside in California there are specific documents that will need to be included for a San Jose adoption.
A home study could include background checks for criminal information and interviews with the adoptive parents, children of a certain age, neighbors, teachers, or friends. Medical examinations, financial history, and a tour of the home will all be included to ensure the environment is safe for children. Among other things, the adoption agency will share with you the adoption profiles of prospective adoptive parents who are already qualified to adopt with a completed home study report.
Who can adopt through San Jose adoption?
In San Jose adoption, a child can be legally adopted by an adult, single or married, who is at least ten years older than him or her. The only time an exception can be made to this regulation is in the case of a sibling adoption, stepparent adoption, or when a first cousin, aunt or uncle, or other biological family member wishes to adopt.
The adoption agency or adoption attorney may have additional requirements for adopting through their agency. The hopeful adoptive parents will need to discuss these requirements before pursuing adoption with any agency or attorney.
Finalizing a San Jose Adoption
San Jose adoptions are governed by the California Family Code. After the baby is born, the California Family Code states that the birth parent can sign relinquishment paperwork a few days after the birth. This signing must take place in the presence of the adoption social worker with whom the expectant parents were working or another licensed social worker and at least two witnesses. This adoption consent paperwork can become permanent up to 30 days after signing, though the birth mother can waive the 30-day requirement and make the consent immediately permanent. Birth fathers can choose to sign the documents consenting to the adoption or if they cannot be found or decline to be involved with the adoption of the child, the unmarried birth father’s rights will be terminated if they do not actively object to the adoption.