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California adoption processes differ

California residents who want to adopt a child may have to follow different rules depending on the type of adoption they seek. The California Department of Social Services classifies adoptions using three general categories: agency, independent and intercountry. The categorization of a given adoption impacts factors like birth parents' rights, who is responsible for care and custody during the process and consent.

Intercountry adoptions include situations wherein parents adopt children born in foreign nations who receive federal special immigration entry visas. These adoptions involve a specialized Intercountry Adoption Program and specifically licensed private agencies. They differ from agency adoptions of American children facilitated by private or public agencies or CDSS offices. In these adoptions, such organizations are responsible for taking care of the child in question, finding suitable parents from a list of potential applicants and supervising placement prior to judicial finalization of the custody transfer.

In domestic agency adoptions, the parental rights of birth parents are ended by the parents filing a relinquishment or receiving a court order. Independent adoptions, on the other hand, occur when birth parents choose new parents and remand custody of their children directly. The birth parents are responsible for learning about the new parents, receiving notification of certain rights and obligations from an Adoption Service Provider and completing an Independent Adoption Placement Agreement to denote their consent.

The adoption process varies in complexity based on the circumstances of each specific instance. Those who want to start families or secure better lives for their own children may find it necessary to submit to supervision, interact with court officials and satisfy numerous requirements before they can complete the process. To minimize the stress experienced by the child in question, it may be advisable to plan for the adoption process in advance and meet with a family law attorney in order to learn about all of the requirements before actually taking the first steps.

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