California Adoption and Foster Care Resources

California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption. Offers facts about adoption such as the different types, how to find a child, the process and more.


Directory of Public and Licensed Adoption Agencies in California. The California Department of Social Services, through the Permanency Policy Bureau, provides oversight of public and licensed private adoption agencies. 1-800-KIDS-4-US. This website provides a comprehensive list of those agencies that families can go to for adoption services.


Adopting a Child in Another Country. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services provides information on this process. 1-800-375-5283.


Registry of California Adoption Facilitators. An adoption facilitator matches prospective adoptive families with birth parents who have decided to place their child for adoption.


AdoptUSKids. A project through the United States Children’s Bureau to raise awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families. The website provides a variety of resources, services and tools to both families and child welfare professionals.


CDSS Adoptions Regional and Field Offices

Central Office

Adoptions Services Bureau

744 P St., M.S. 8-12-31

Sacramento, CA 95814



Bay Area

Oakland Regional Office

1515 Clay St., #308

Oakland, 94612




Types of Adoptions

Agency Adoption: Adoption by a public or licensed private adoption agency that has custody of the child as the result of either parent or parents voluntarily relinquishing their legal rights to the agency or involuntary termination of parents’ legal rights by the court.

Independent Adoption: Parents are placed directly with prospective adoptive parents for the purpose of adoption. Only the CDSS regional and field offices and delegated counties provide services under this program.

Intercountry Adoption: Adoption of a foreign-born child for whom federal law makes a special immigration visa available. The adoption may be finalized in the child’s native country or in the U.S.

Step-parent Adoption: This occurs when a step-parent adopts a child of his or her spouse. Local county probation or welfare departments handle these adoptions.


Types of Adoption Services


CDSS Adoptions Regional and Field Offices: These offices provide independent adoption services in specific counties and agency adoption services in counties that do not have a public adoption agency.


County (Public) Adoption Agencies: These are county child welfare departments that provide agency adoption services. In addition, independent adoption services are provided by county welfare departments delegated by the CDSS to study and report to the court when county residents file independent adoption petitions.


Licensed Private Adoption Services: These agencies are licensed to provide direct adoption services.