In our Resource Family orientations, we often get asked this question, “How long does it take to adopt a child?” This might seem to be a simple question, but in reality it's kind of a complicated matter. We're not an adoption agency, we're a foster to adoption agency and that makes the process a bit more complicated. When a prospective parent (or parents) come to us with the desire to adopt a child from Lilliput Families, they are essentially becoming a resource family (formerly known as a foster family) with the opportunity to adopt a child that has been placed in their care from the California Department of Social Services. Step one in this puzzle is to become a certified Resource Family by completing the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process. Completion of the entire RFA Approval process varies between case to case, some people wrap it up very quickly (3-4 months) while others take a bit longer (6-12 months). It all depends on the individuals, available resources, schedules, etc. Step two in the puzzle is the child matching & placement process. This step really varies case to case. For example, if you were looking for a specific type of child to be placed with, then your selection would be narrowed down and it could take months (or even years) to find a suitable match. On the other hand, if you are open to any type of child coming into your home, then you could be matched days after completing your RFA Approval and you could have a child (or children) placed with you immediately. There really no way to know, that's why we encourage all of our Resource Families to be as open to accepting different types of children as they can be. The final piece to this puzzle is the adoption process. Once you have a child placed in your care, depending on the child's situation, you might have an opportunity to adopt the child. This part varies greatly and is dependent on many factors. The adoption has to be ideal for both your family and the child and this may take months to determine, along with additional weeks for the State to grant the adoption. It is important to also keep in mind there may still might be a chance of the birth family wanting to claim kinship rights toward the child, meaning before the adoption is complete, the child might be reunified with their biological family. We know this is not for the faint of heart, but we always remind our Resource Families that the point of all this is to find the best permanent situation for the children, and sometimes that means reunifying them with their birth families. In the most ideal situation with everything lining up perfectly, you could adopt a child through Lilliput Families in 3-6 months, but in a more complex scenario it could take 2-3 years. There's really no way to know for sure how long your journey could take, but we encourage you to dive in head first and accept the challenge. W promise you won't regret it!

 

If you would like more information about becoming a Resource Family, reach out to one of Lilliput’s experts, Angie Nevin, at anevin@lilliput.org, or call us at 916-923-5444.