Chapter 2.5. Adoptions By Relative Caregivers Or Foster Parents of California Family Law Code >> Division 13. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 2.5.
(a) Subject to the requirements of subdivision (b), the
department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may
provide an abbreviated home study assessment for any of the
(1) A licensed or certified foster parent with whom the child has
lived for a minimum of six months.
(2) An approved relative caregiver or nonrelated extended family
member with whom the child has had an ongoing and significant
(3) A court-appointed relative guardian of the child who has been
investigated and approved pursuant to the guardianship investigation
process and has had physical custody of the child for at least one
(4) A prospective adoptive parent who has completed an
agency-supervised adoption within the last two years.
(b) Unless otherwise ordered by a court with jurisdiction over the
child, home study assessments completed pursuant to subdivision (a)
shall include, at minimum, all of the following:
(1) A criminal records check, as required by all applicable state
and federal statutes and regulations.
(2) A determination that the applicant has sufficient financial
stability to support the child and ensure that an adoption assistance
program payment or other government assistance to which the child is
entitled is used exclusively to meet the child's needs. In making
this determination, the experience of the applicant only while the
child was in his or her care shall be considered. For purposes of
this section, the applicant shall be required to provide verification
of employment records or income or both.
(3) A determination that the applicant has not abused or neglected
the child while the child has been in his or her care and has
fostered the healthy growth and development of the child. This
determination shall include a review of the disciplinary practices of
the applicant to ensure that the practices are age appropriate and
do not physically or emotionally endanger the child.
(4) A determination that the applicant is not likely to abuse or
neglect the child in the future and that the applicant can protect
the child, ensure necessary care and supervision, and foster the
child's healthy growth and development.
(5) A determination that the applicant can address issues that may
affect the child's well-being, including, but not limited to, the
child's physical health, mental health, and educational needs.
(6) An interview with the applicant, an interview with each
individual residing in the home, and an interview with the child to
(7) A review by the department, county adoption agency, or
licensed adoption agency of all previous guardianship investigation
reports, home study assessments, and preplacement evaluations of each
applicant. Notwithstanding any other law regarding the confidential
nature of these reports, upon the written request of the department,
county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that is
accompanied by a signed release from the applicant, the department,
county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may receive a
copy of any of these reports from a court, investigating agency, or
other person or entity in possession of the report. The department,
county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall document
attempts to obtain the report and, if applicable, the reason the
report is unavailable.
(c) The department may promulgate regulations as necessary or
appropriate to implement this section.
(d) This section does not apply to independent adoptions filed
pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 8800).
If the prospective adoptive parent of a child is a foster
parent, the assessment or home study described in Section 8730 shall
not be initiated until the child to be adopted has resided in the
home of the foster parent for at least six months.
A report of a medical examination of the foster parent with
whom the child has lived for a minimum of six months or the relative
caregiver who has had an ongoing and significant relationship with
the child shall be included in the assessment of each applicant
unless the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption
agency determines that, based on other available information, this
report is unnecessary. The assessment shall require certification
that the applicant and each adult residing in the applicant's home
has received a test for communicable tuberculosis.
The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption
agency shall require the adoptive parent to be provided with
information related to the specific needs of the child to be adopted,
that, as determined by the licensed adoption agency, may include
information regarding the following: issues surrounding birth
parents, the effects of abuse and neglect on children, cultural and
racial issues, sexuality, contingency planning for children in the
event of the parents' death or disability, financial assistance for
adopted children, common childhood disabilities, including, but not
limited to, emotional disturbances, attention deficit disorder,
learning disabilities, speech and hearing impairment, and dyslexia,
the importance of sibling and half-sibling relationships, and other
issues related to adoption and child development and the availability
of counseling to deal with these issues.
The department shall encourage adoption agencies to make
adoption training programs available to prospective adoptive
The department shall adopt regulations requiring county
adoption agencies and licensed adoption agencies to inform the agency
responsible for the foster care placement when a relative caregiver
or foster parent has been denied approval to adopt based on an
inability of the relative caregiver or foster parent to provide for
the mental and emotional health, safety, and security of the child
and to recommend either that the relative caregiver or foster parent
be provided with additional support and supervision or that the child
be removed from the home of the relative caregiver or foster parent.
The requirements of this chapter shall not be used as basis
for removing a child who has been placed with a relative caregiver or
foster parent prior to January 1, 1999, unless the noncompliance
with the standards described therein present a danger to the health,
safety, or emotional well-being of the child.