Become an Adoptive Parent
If you are considering adopting a child, CCAS-IOP is looking for loving families of all backgrounds. Adoption need not be a lengthy, impersonal, or frustrating experience. We will walk you through the process and will be there well after the adoption to help support your growing family.
We hold regular orientation meetings at our office to address all of your questions about adoption and introduce you to our organization and the practice of open adoption.
Visit our calendar to see when the next available orientation meeting will be taking place or call us at (559) 447-3333. If none of the orientation dates or times fit with your schedule, an individual meeting time can be arranged.
You Might Be Wondering (Frequently Asked Questions)…
In the past, when a child was adopted there typically was no contact at all between the birth parents, the adoptive parents and child after the adoption took place. This is called a “closed adoption” and they were often based on shame and secrecy.
But over the last 20 to 30 years, the trend in the United States and around the world has moved toward child centered “open adoptions” where the birth parents, adoptive parents and child maintain open lines of communication and often remain in each other's lives. CCAS-IOP was the first to introduce this practice to Fresno.
In an open adoption, the birth mother and the adopting family come to agreement on how much contact the birth mother will have with the child. The amount and type of contact is mutually agreed upon and can be as little as exchanging letters and pictures to regular get-togethers.
The change from closed, secret adoption, to open adoption, is beneficial for everyone – especially the baby. The child will grow up understanding that he or she is loved and cherished by many loving adults, including the adoptive parents, birth parents, and possibly extended families on both sides.
Open adoption is beneficial for everyone in the triad – the adoptive parents, the birth mother, and especially the child.
Ongoing contact is good for the child
The greatest beneficiary of an open adoption is the adopted child who will grow up to understand that loving and brave decisions were made on his or her behalf, and that he or she is loved and cherished by many loving adults, including their adoptive and birth parents.
Research has shown that children in closed adoptions are troubled by two main questions: Who do I look like? and Why did my birthparents choose to place me?
With an open adoption, these and other questions can be addressed openly and honestly. The birthmother can express love for the child she gave birth to in an atmosphere of honesty and openness.
We are always here to help you with that process, should you feel the need for support.
Current and up-to-date family medical history is available
Having access to family and medical history is important to the health of the baby, and as questions arise they can be answered honestly. In an open adoption, up-to-date medical information is much more likely to be recovered. Sometimes medical issues develop later in life and with an open adoption this important information can be shared with the adoptive family.
Establishes a sense of connection
For adoptive parents, open adoption provides a sense of connection to the child’s background, and helps them provide honest answers to their child’s questions as they arise later in life.
Many adoptive parents experience a sense of security after establishing a structured relationship with the birth parents as they are able to observe the growing relationship between the child and birth parents, and they don’t have to worry about a looming secret that may eventually come to light and possibly result in feelings of anger and betrayal. In the long term, honoring the birthparent-child relationship can establish trust and love within the family.
Provides Birthparents with Peace of Mind
Many birthparents simply want to know that their child is OK, and with an open adoption, even limited contact can help birthparents confirm that they have made the best decision for themselves and their baby.
Yes, besides child centered open adoptions and closed adoptions, there are few different ways you can make an adoption plan. Through parenting classes, you will learn more about all of the options available to you.
Agency adoption vs. Independent adoption
Independent adoptions are arranged through attorneys, facilitators, physicians, counseling centers or other entities. The birthmother gives physical custody to the adopting couple, while retaining legal guardianship until the adoption is finalized in court. With an independent adoption, the birth mother typically has 30 days until her relinquishment is final. Most independent adoptions offer limited openness, counseling and therapy for all members of the adoption triad (adoptee, birth parents, and adopted parents).
Agency adoptions are handled through licensed agencies, like ours, that are regulated by the State of California. We are legally allowed to accept a birthmother’s relinquishment and become the child’s guardian until the adoption is finalized. The child is immediately placed with a family, chosen by the birthmother, who has already completed a home study. In agency adoptions, a birthmother has approximately ten days until her relinquishment is final. Once the relinquishment is acknowledged by the State, it becomes final. In addition, reputable adoption agencies will offer lifelong (affordable or free) counseling and therapy for all members of the adoption triad.
While adoptions can be arranged independently, only a licensed agency such as CCAS-IOP can provide all of the services required before, during, and after an adoption – for birth parents, adoptees, and adopting parents.
CCAS-IOP is dedicated to being there for you and your child with education and counseling that far surpasses any legal requirements.
A Word of Caution for Prospective Adoptive Parents
There are many reasons why families or individuals consider adoption. Regardless of your motivation, the decision to adopt is often highly charged with emotion, and the process can be both exciting and stressful. This can put you in a vulnerable position, so it is important that you explore all of your options.
Take the time to determine what type of adoption fits best with your situation. Beware of misleading ads on the Internet and in publications. Discuss your options with educated professionals who understand all aspects and types of adoption. While many people are well-meaning, they are often quick to share their opinion and advice, which may not depict healthy, modern, open adoption practices.
You deserve answers and an opportunity to feel comfortable with the path you choose, so ask questions of experts, preferably in person. At CCAS-IOP, we will never pressure you into one option. We take the time to get to know you, your desires and help you find the right fit for your situation.
Some questions to consider as you begin the process:
- How long has this agency/person been in the business of adoption?
- Where is their office located?
- What are their credentials?
- Do they provide birthparents with supportive counseling before, during and after placement?
- Who provides the counseling?
- Who pays for the counseling?
- What is the average total adoption cost?
- Do the costs include the home study fee?
- Do the costs include medical and living expenses for the birthmother?
- Do the costs include legal action and proceedings?
- Will they provide you with names and telephone numbers of prior clients, ideally those that reside in and around the agency? (Personal references are one of your most reliable resources.)
- What is the average wait to receive a baby/child?
The bottom line is this: you have the right to explore all of your options and pursue the path that is right for you and your growing family.
At CCAS-IOP, we are open and transparent. We will answer all of your questions and can guide you making a choice that is right for you. For more information, you are invited to attend an orientation to learn more about our services. Here is our calendar.
As a private, licensed adoption agency, we are committed to providing quality adoption services in the same caring, professional atmosphere that has been our trademark since 1953. Our fees continue to be among the least expensive of agencies who work with voluntary adoption.
Our income is primarily derived from two sources: adoption fees and donations. Adoption fees alone do not cover the cost of each adoption. We must rely on the generosity of our donors, including individual contributors and supporters of our fundraising efforts.
A typical adoption can cost between $20,000 and $30,000 using a sliding scale based upon your income. Our adoption fees are not due all at once. Payments are made in installments throughout the adoption process, and the final payment is not due until placement of a child in your home.
You can move through the assessment process at your own pace. We have some adoptive parents that choose to proceed through each stage as quickly as possible, while others take some time to budget and save money before they proceed to the next step.
We are proud to offer a sliding scale fee to our families. Please give us a call if you have any questions about our fee schedule.
The Federal Government also provides an Adoption Tax Credit per child, depending on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). We recommend that adoptive families consult with a tax advisor to discuss IRS Form 8839 to learn how the tax credit may work for them. The Adoption Tax Credit can significantly reduce the net average cost for qualifying adoptive families.
No. In most cases, you will not need to hire an attorney.
The typical waiting period for our adoptive parents is 12 to 18 months after the home study is completed.
Your adoption preferences will play a major factor in your wait time. The stricter your adoption plan and preferences, the longer the wait time may be.
Depending on certain circumstances, it can range in size from 2 to about 25 families.
Birthparents who plan adoptions through our agency vary in age and background, but most have long-term plans for their lives and all care deeply about the welfare of their children. A tremendous amount of bravery, love, and foresight goes into their decisions.
Most birthmothers are referred to us by other professionals or agencies. Many birthmothers also find us through our website, social media or referrals from friends.
Birthparents select a family by looking at available family albums. If you decide to pursue open adoption, you will create a family album so birth mothers can learn more about who you are and what kind of life you may provide, as she selects a family that she feels will be a good fit for her baby.
No. Upon finalization, the adoptive parents are the legally recognized parents. They are also the emotional parents. Openness does not detract from the permanency of parenting. Rather, it can enrich it by establishing an atmosphere of trust and respect in which the ongoing needs of all parties are honored.
The requirements for adoption are determined by the State of California and will be thoroughly explained at the Prospective Adoptive Parent Informational Night, training classes, and in a meeting to go over the contract.
The adoption process can seem overwhelming, but we will work with you every step of the way. Visit our calendar to schedule an orientation where you can learn more or begin the process if you are ready. (LINK)
Once you decide to move forward with the adoption process, CCAS-IOP will provide you with access to e-Adopt, a private portal designed to help streamline the process and store related information and documents needed to complete the adoption.
We will walk you through the process to help make it as simple as possible.
A Note of Gratitude
Dear Central California Adoption Services - Infant of Prague:
I just wanted to post a little note of thanks to you. I just got done rocking my sweet baby girl, Juliana, to sleep. As I did, tears of love, joy, contentment, and most of all, appreciation fell down my cheeks. Without you we would not have her, or her equally precious big brother Jackson.
Thank you so much! I am so glad God has blessed you enough to expand your services to a larger part of California. That will give so many more adoptive families the chance to grow and birth families the opportunity to be nurtured during a very difficult time.
You will always be part of our family and know you are all Jackson and Juliana’s “aunts in Fresno.”
The Orsburn Family