Public agencies place children who are in the custody of the state. These children generally are in state custody due to neglect, abandonment or misconduct of a parent, although in some cases there may be a voluntary transfer of parental rights to the agency. Most of the children are in foster care for a significant period of time before becoming legally free for adoption. In addition, many of the children have medical or emotional issues due to their difficult backgrounds and may be eligible for adoption assistance. If a prospective adoptive family is willing to have a child placed in a legal risk placement (where the birth parents’ parental rights are not yet terminated), it may be possible to adopt a younger child. Public agency adoption appeals to adoptive parents who cannot or do not wish to pay the costs associated with private adoptions or who wish to adopt children who are older or considered special needs or hard to place.
If you wish to adopt through a public agency, you should contact your County Department of Social Services to learn more about the process and how you can become qualified to adopt.