Sacramento County is a state licensed adoption agency. As a public adoption agency, children available are dependents of Sacramento County Juvenile Court. These children have been removed from their biological parents. The Adoptions program staff is responsible for assessing if adoption is the best plan for the child. They strive to ensure that a child and adoptive family are well-matched, and that the family will help the child develop to his or her fullest potential.
Services provided through the Adoptions Program include:

  • Assessment of the child’s needs and capabilities
  • Compiling the child’s social and medical history
  • Determining and recommending to the Juvenile Court that parental rights should be terminated
  • Establishing if the child is legally free for adoption
  • Conducting home study evaluations of adoptive parents
  • Coordinating placement of a child in a family that will meet the child's needs.

Adoption is the social, emotional and legal process through which children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family.
Relinquishment Services are not provided through the County of Sacramento Adoption Program. Relinquishments and Independent Adoption services are provided by the California State Department of Social Services. Their phone number is (916) 651-7465 and the link to their site is CDSS Adoption Services.

To Qualify
For a prospective adoptive parent(s) to adopt a child, the following is required:

  • The child must be in the home for six months
  • Parental rights are terminated (with the appeal process over)
  • The adopting family has an approved home study
  • Adoptive placement papers are signed

The Families Who Seek To Adopt Should Be:

  • Flexible
  • Sensitive
  • Patient
  • Realistic
  • Able to ask for help from outside resources

There is a $20 filing fee for adoption and no cost for the birth certificate.

The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)
The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) provides funds to adoptive parents to assist them in meeting the basic and special needs of their adopted children. All families who adopt Sacramento County dependent children are eligible for AAP funds, regardless of income. 

AAP eligibility begins effective the date the family signs the Adoptive Placement Agreement (usually a matter of weeks or months prior to finalization) and ends when the child turns eighteen. It is possible to receive AAP funds past the child’s 18th birthday, but there must be a documented disability, which qualified the child for continued AAP.

AAP is recertified every two years. However, adoptive families can request an evaluation for a higher rate at any time. They are not limited to the recertification period. If a family is requesting a higher rate, the AAP specialist will request documentation attesting to the child’s increased special needs.

State regulations do not allow AAP to pay for service (i.e. compensate a family for out of pocket expenses). The special needs rate is determined by an assessment of the child’s needs and the measures the adoptive family must take to meet those needs.

Per State regulations, AAP rates are based on the Sacramento County foster care rate structure not the foster family agency structure. AAP is to be allocated according to what the child would receive if he or she were placed in a county licensed foster home. Therefore, foster family agency families who adopt will not necessarily receive the same amount they were receiving as foster parents.

If a family chooses not to accept AAP at the time of finalization, they will be asked to sign a deferred agreement which allows them the opportunity to come back at any time prior to the child’s 18th birthday and request that AAP be initiated.

Any child who is receiving AAP is eligible for Medi-Cal benefits. If the adoptive family chooses to place the child on their private insurance, Medi-Cal becomes a secondary form of coverage.

Other Information and Resources

CPS Adoptions
3701 Branch Center Road Sacramento, CA 95827 (916) 875-5967