For International Adoption:
I've known a few families now to adopt special needs treasures from China through Lifeline. FANTASTIC. Ive seen them demonstrate integrity, knowledge and skill. If we ever adopt from China, this is the agency we will likely use. China special needs adoptions are likely the smoothest and quickest adoption's I've watched- usually about 12-14 months from the first call to an agency until the parents traveled to bring their child home.
For Foster care and/or Foster Adoption:
1. Going directly through your county's Human Service child welfare system.
Families who do foster care are also given the option to adopt a child in their care if a parent is unable to be reunified with their child.
Adoption: For parents who want to adopt only, foster adopt is an option. There are currently over 200,000 children in the USA foster care system ready RIGHT NOW for adoption. For parents who are open to older children or children with special needs, this is an incredible option. It costs NOTHING to adopt though foster care in San Diego County. I've heard there is a minimal cost of a few hundred dollars in some states. However, compared to the costs of private or international adoption- this is minimal. The USA also provides financial assistance and medical insurance for children adopted through foster care.
We get asked often if it is possible to adopt someone after their 18th birthday. In most states, the answer is yes. In California, you do not need an attorney to complete this process and the fee is simply $25.00
Here's the link to Adult Adoption in California: Adult Adoption
You do not need to hire an attorney to do a step-parent adoption. When doing an internet search on step parent adoption, numerous attorneys pop up with websites offering to do this service for $1200 to several thousand dollars depending upon the involvement and willingness of the biological parent who is not involved in parenting the child. YOU DO NOT NEED AN ATTORNEY IN CALIFORNIA. Check your state's Superior Court Website for info regarding step-parent adoption in your state. If you are in California, Simply file the required pile of papers with the court. The filing fee is $25. Then, and they will then give you the contact info for California's Health and Human Services. The HHSA fee is $250. You will be assigned a social worker to complete the necessary steps to finalize a step parent adoption. Here is the link for California: Step Parent Adoption
Link: California Step Parent Adoption