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How do I become a foster or adoptive Resource Parent?

To Know more about different types of adoption:

Independent Adoption

The San Diego County Adoption Program completes independent adoptions, which is a more detailed process than stepparent adoption. The case is initiated upon the Agency's receipt of a stamped (‘conformed’) copy of a petition that has been filed at Juvenile Court. The fee for this type of adoption is $4500 or $1500 for families with a valid home study. There is a sliding scale for lower income families. In addition, an Adoption Services Provider (ASP) is required when the child is not related to the applicant(s), which generally is an additional fee of $800-$2,000.


A voluntary relinquishment occurs when a birthmother and/or birthfather voluntarily gives up their parental rights and request an adoptive family for their child. The County of San Diego Adoptions Program has specially trained social workers to help meet the needs of relinquishment cases. This process is completely voluntary on the part of the birth parents and requires several different steps to complete the process.  The birth parents are able to choose a family from a list of approved adoptive families participating in this program.   If you choose to participate in this program, you should discuss the specific legal and emotional risks involved with your applicant worker. 


The vision of CWS is that every child grows up safe and nurtured. Our agency supports this vision by first striving to safely stabilize and preserve families.   If that is not possible, we team with kinship and resource families to safely care for children and reunify them to their families of origin. If reunification is not possible, we support the development of permanency and lifelong relationships for children and youth, which includes placing children in adoptive homes. 

A resource family provides a safe and nurturing family environment for children who are not living with their parents due to abuse or neglect.  They are dependents of the Juvenile Court. The role of a resource family may be temporary while the parents receive supportive services toward reunification.  When children can not be reunified safely, the resource family may become permanent through adoption or guardianship.

How do I become a foster or adoptive Resource Parent?


Becoming a foster or adoptive Resource Parent is a simple procedure, but takes time and determination to complete. All requirements for becoming a Resource Parent are intended to provide safety and security for both child and foster and adoptive resource parent. The steps are:

  • Attend a Resource Family Approval (RFA) Orientation meeting (see Orientation Schedule file below)
  • Complete and Submit RFA Application forms
  • Complete Background Assessment and Home Environment Assessment
  • Complete 12- Hours of Trauma Informed Pre-Service (TIPS)
  • Complete First Aid and CPR certification
  • Complete Comprehensive Permanency Assessment
  • Receive Approval and Written Report

Upon completion of the Resource Family Approval Process, you will be eligible for child placement.  However, completing the Resource Family Approval process does not guarantee immediate child placement.  Resource families should be able and willing to incorporate the child’s or children's specific needs, behaviors, personality and experiences into their home. We are a child-oriented agency, seeking families for children.  The length of time that your family waits is dependent upon many factors, including the type of child you hope to parent. We realize that the waiting period may be an anxious time for the whole family.

Child Placement:

  • Once you are matched with a children, a meeting will be arranged to give you complete disclosure of the child’s background and development. If this child is a fit for your family, an in-person meeting with the child will be arranged. Transitional visits will take place to allow the child and your family to gradually adjust to one another before the child is placed in your home.
  • A social worker will meet with your family on a regular basis for a minimum of six months to assist with the placement adjustment.
  • The law states that an adoption can only be finalized after a child has been in the home a minimum of six months. A petition will be filed on with the Court on your behalf to finalize the adoption. You do not need to hire an attorney unless you wish to do so.
  • Post adoption services are available to the family after the adoption is finalized. Services include but or not limited to the Adoption Assistance Program, medical coverage, and support groups or community referrals as needed.

You will also need to complete and/or provide the following:

  • Resource Family Application
  • References
  • Financial Information
  • Fingerprints for all persons in the home 18 years and older
  • Health screening for all adult applicants
  • TB test for all persons in the home 18 years and older
  • Medical report on all children in the home (to be completed by parents)
  • Certificate of Completion of TIPS training
  • Adoption Specialty classes
  • CPR/First Aid Training
  • Employment verification authorization
  • School verification authorization form for all children in the home
  • Resource Family Background Questionnaire for each applicant
  • In-home visits with all adults and children, youth, and young adults who live in the home.
  • Marriage and/or Registered Domestic Partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce decree (if applicable)