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Kids need to be raised by families. For the approximately 400+ youth removed from homes in San Luis Obispo County annually and placed into Foster Care, permanency home planning begins immediately. Permanency is a big word but at its heart it means one thing: Families for children. Our first priority is to reunite kids with their birth families whenever it is safe to do so. But some families are simply not able to reunify. For those children, our Department works diligently to identify adoptive homes early in the process.

If you are considering adoption, we hope the information found on this page will help you with your decision.

If you adopted a child or were adopted, we have resources available for you as well.

Click on the button below to download the Adoption Process Checklist.


Adoption ends all rights and responsibilities between the birth parents and the child, including inheritance and visitation rights. The legal relationship with all other relatives will also end. When you adopt a child, your legal relationship with that child is the same as with a child born to you. An adopted child becomes your own child in all respects.

Since adoption is the most permanent plan for a child, it is often the preferred plan. There are government programs (Adoption Assistance) that can provide financial help and services for children with special needs who are adopted. You may want to discuss this option with your Social Worker or Attorney.

Guardianship, on the other hand, suspends the rights and responsibilities of the birth parents. A child may still inherit from the parents if a guardianship exists. The court may order visitation with the parents of other relatives as part of its decision. While a guardian has the same responsibilities as a parent to care for and control a child, a guardian can be removed or the guardianship itself can be terminated by court order. A guardianship usually ends when the child becomes an adult at 18 years but you always remain the parent of your adopted child.

SOURCE: AMERICAN LEGALNET, INC WWW.USCOURTFORMS.COM You can obtain additional information about these programs from your child’s Social Worker or your local Child Welfare Agency.

Adoption is a life-long process that permanently changes the lives of those involved, including birth parents, children, and adoptive parents. Post adoption services are made available to help strengthen and empower those touched by adoption.

Families formed through adoption may need support and services after the adoption has been made final to help them manage the unique issues that are a part of adoption. Adoption may affect families in many different ways and generally change over the course of time. Members of adoptive families may need information, support, and other services to help them be successful.

Post adoption services can help families with a wide variety of needs including guidance with how to explain adoption to a child, how to access resources to address previous losses, trauma, neglect and abuse, how to best support an adopted teen’s search for identity as well as self-care and support for parents.

Parents and families are encouraged to get connected and stay connected. When parents and families utilize available resources they are better equipped to manage times of challenge. The saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” often rings true for families formed through adoption. Being proactive and staying connected can be invaluable in the adoption experience.

Services and resources provided to adoptive families may include:

Educational services – Workshops, seminars and information specific to adoption and parenting issues to assist families in understanding their child and family situation and the most effective strategies for parenting. These services are provided by the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, Cuesta College Foster and Kinship Care Education Program and other community partners and agencies. Support services – Information, support groups and ongoing financial support through the Adoption Assistance Program all provide support to adoptive families. These services are provided by the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, The Kinship Center and other community partners and agencies. Therapeutic services – Some adoptive families may need clinical interventions to address specific difficulties, including assessment services, crisis intervention, or a variety of therapeutic and medical interventions. These services are provided by the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, San Luis Obispo County Mental Health Youth Services, Family Care Network, The Kinship Center and other community partners and agencies. The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) – The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) is a federal program of financial assistance for adoptive children that can become effective after the Adoptive Placement Agreement is made. Children adopted out of foster care may qualify for AAP benefits. Eligibility for AAP is based upon the child’s special needs at the time of adoption. A child who qualifies for AAP benefits is also eligible for coverage in the Medi-Cal program. Children adopted from foster care are eligible to receive AAP until the age 18. In some cases, where the child has a mental or physical disability, he or she might qualify to receive AAP Program benefits until age 21. Other resources and services – Access to lending libraries, newsletters, referral for adoption camps, family activities, search and support groups, Lifebooks, online and other resources. These services are provided by the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services along with other local, state and national agencies. To find out more about any of these services or resources, please call the Department of Social Services at (805) 781-1700 and ask to speak with someone in Adoptions.

To make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, call (805) 781-KIDS

Department of Social Services 3433 S. Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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