What Is Adoption

Adoption is the process that transfers the legal rights, responsibilities and rewards of being a parent. The rights and responsibilities of birth parents are permanently terminated and assumed by other people who become the child’s legal parent(s). Adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as birth parents.

About Santa Clara County Social Service Agency’s Adoption Services

Santa Clara County provides a full range of adoption services. Those services are for both those open to adopting a child and those who want to give up a child for adoption. Among those services are voluntary relinquishments, adoption home studies, placing children for adoption, guidance in finalization of adoptions, and post adoption services. Financial assistance is given to some adoptive parents for eligible children under the Adoption Assistance Program.

Adoption FAQs

    Adoption is a permanent and legal change in relationship when a child legally becomes the child of another family. Deciding whether or not the plan of adoption is the right choice for you and your child may be the most emotion-filled decision that you will ever have to make.​

    A relinquishment is the legal process by which parents voluntarily and permanently give up their parental rights to a child for adoption by another. If you want to make an adoptive plan for your child, Santa ClaraCounty Social Services Adoption Agency can explore the option of relinquishment with you. Once relinquishment documents have been completed and filed with the California Department of Social Services the relinquishing parent’s rights are permanently terminated. 

    If you are interested in adoption, you must first become a licensed foster parent, and then you must successfully complete an adoption home study. You can ask for an application online or call 299-kids.

    AAP stands for Adoption Assistance Program. It is a federally funded program which provides financial benefits for adoptive children with special needs. AAP can consist of both financial and medical benefits.

    No. AAP benefits cannot be reduced because of income for the child from any sources including income from birth parents, birth relative, adoptive parents, Social Security Administration (SSA) Survivors Benefits and Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI). You must report your child’s AAP benefits to the SocialSecurity Administration (SSA). The SSA might deduct your AAP benefits from your child’s SSI grant.

    It depends on a number of factors. In Santa Clara County, after an adoption home study is complete and the child is freed for adoption, an adoption finalization social worker is assigned the case. After the assignment of the finalization social worker the adoption hearing usually takes place in three to six months.

    Yes. Post Adoption Services can refer or connect the adoptive family with counseling resources.

    Yes. They may move out of the county, the state, or the country and the benefits will continue. However, the adoptive parents need to notify the Post Adoption Staff in writing regarding the changes of address to ensure that the AAP benefits will continue uninterrupted.

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