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What Will Disqualify You from Adopting a Child in California?


Adopting a child is truly a beautiful and life-changing experience for both the family and the child. While it is an exciting time for your family, you may be concerned about what could disqualify you from being able to adopt.

In California, there are a few requirements that prospective adoptive parents must meet in order to be approved. Keep reading to learn more about California’s adoption requirements in this post.

Requirements for Adopting a Child

The road to adoption can be a lengthy process for potential parents. Before anyone can adopt, they must be over 18 years old and at least 10 years older than the child they intend to adopt. However, if the parent is already in their child’s life, such as a step-parent, there are exceptions.

In addition, they must complete forms that detail their criminal and employment backgrounds. These forms are necessary to ensure that all children are placed in safe and secure homes.

Furthermore, adopting parents will need to complete a home study process. This includes an interview to assess whether the potential parents are ready for adoption. The interview covers a range of topics, such as:

  • Financial stability
  • Emotional readiness
  • Experience with children
  • Home environment
  • Whether applicants are married (you do not have to be married to adopt)

During this process, potential parents are thoroughly interviewed to ensure the best possible outcome for both the child and the adoptive family. The study process is not intended to determine whether applicants have substantial financial wealth or a large home. Rather, the home study’s goal is to determine whether adoption is the appropriate choice for the family or individual. In addition, this is also an opportunity for potential parents to learn more about the adoption process.

Disqualification from Adoption Eligibility

Your home would be disqualified from adoption eligibility when an adult in your home has been convicted of:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Spousal abuse
  • Child pornography
  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Homicide

Furthermore, if an adult living in the home has been convicted of certain felonies, approval may not be granted. It's important to note that while some of these bans may be lifted if the offense is more than five or 10 years old, others are permanent. These guidelines exist to ensure the safety and well-being of any child placed in the care of an adoptive family.

How Do I Adopt a Child?

When considering adoption, it's normal to feel overwhelmed in the beginning stages. Your first step should be to contact your local public adoption agency or CDSS Adoption Regional Office to speak with an agency representative about the adoption process. The process also includes an orientation, which will give you valuable information about what to expect.

If you decide to move forward with adoption, you'll need to complete and submit a written application. After that, an agency representative will discuss the type of child you wish to adopt and the children available through the agency.

However, if you're interested in private adoption, you'll need to contact licensed agencies in your area to learn more about their services, requirements, and fees. Though the process may seem daunting at first, remember that there are many resources available to help you through it.

Work with an Adoption Lawyer

Adopting a child can be a challenging journey, but you don't have to navigate it alone. With the support of our experienced adoption lawyers at Arnold Law Group, APC, you can feel confident as you embark on the process of expanding your family.

We understand that the road to adoption can be full of complexities, but our team has over 30 years of experience and is dedicated to guiding you through each step. Let us help you start the next chapter of your life with the addition of a new loved one.

Reach out to us today to get started. Dial (559) 900-1263 or fill out our form online