Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between HFS and other adoption providers?

HFS is a nonprofit agency and is licensed by California to provide services. Agencies must meet strict rules and regulations as set forth by their governing bodies. Attorneys are also licensed by the State and must meet regulations. With an agency or an attorney, you have the right to file a grievance, if you feel you have not been treated well. Adoption attorneys charge either by the hour or by the adoption. Adoption facilitators are not licensed; they have no rules or regulations governing their actions. There is no oversight of facilitators; there is no governing body to which to file a grievance.

Why do birth parents contact HFS?

Most of the time, because they have heard comforting words about our work with birth parents. Outreach workers are in constant touch with organizations in the five counties of Southern California. Beyond schools and churches, outreach workers provide education to nurses and social workers at hospitals, clinics, colleges, and other health related community organizations. Legal rights of birth parents, appropriate adoption language, and other adoption related information is shared.

Will I know the family and baby's health history?

As much information as is obtained is provided to prospective adoptive parents of any child placed through HFS. HFS social workers obtain as much information as possible, with the understanding that this information is critical to everyone involved.

What's the first step?

The first step is to call 800-464-2367 and arrange to attend one of our monthly orientations. At the orientation, you'll learn about our process, the fees, the wait, and the support system.

You'll hear from an HFS family and have the time to ask questions. At this event, you'll receive a packet of information. You'll fill out and return the registration form. Upon receipt of your application, the intake worker will contact you. Adoptive parents are assigned a social worker who will act as their advocate during the process. (Birth parents have their own social workers advocating on their behalf.) The home study is the most time-consuming part of the process. Once the home study is approved, a child may be placed in your home.

How long will it be before a baby is placed?

Much depends on the adoptive parents. How quickly will the registration be filled out and returned? How soon will the home study paperwork be completed, and if necessary, corrections handled? (Example: A swimming pool requires fencing, how long will it take to have the fence in place?) After the home study is approved, the wait has been anywhere from 18 months to 36 months and sometimes longer depending on the specific desires of the adoptive family. For those specifying race or gender, the wait will be longer than for those who do not specify.

Do you offer older child adoptions and how does the process differ?

This is generally recognized as "Fost-Adopt." Much of the process is the same, except the child (or children) may enter the home more quickly. A home study is completed after which the matching begins. The toddlers and older children are generally foster children whose parental rights have been, or are in the process of being, terminated by the courts. This adoption process is usually referred to as Fost-Adopt. The match is made and the child enters the home as a foster child with the clear understanding that the child is being adopted by that family.

Do you offer single parents the opportunity to adopt?

Yes; and the process is the same. Our infant adoptions are open adoptions which means that birth parents choose the adoptive family for their child. Many prefer two parents; however, that is not always the case. Fost-Adopt children (toddlers, older and sibling sets) are often placed in single parent homes.



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