Code Section

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 13. ADOPTION [8500 - 9340]

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


  ( 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. )


(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 the applicant’s 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 the applicant’s 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. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 123. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)