Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 13. ADOPTION [8500 - 9340]

  ( Division 13 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 2. ADOPTION OF UNMARRIED MINORS [8600 - 9213]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 2.5. Adoptions by Relative Caregivers or Foster Parents [8730 - 8736]
  ( Chapter 2.5 added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 983, Sec. 3. )

8730.
  

(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 following:

(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 relationship.

(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 year.

(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 be adopted.

(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).

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 55. (SB 1304) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8731.
  

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.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 983, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

8732.
  

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.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 33. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8733.
  

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.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 34. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8734.
  

The department shall encourage adoption agencies to make adoption training programs available to prospective adoptive families.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 983, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

8735.
  

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.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 35. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8736.
  

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.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 983, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM