SAN DIEGO–Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed into law a bill to streamline adoptions of foster children, an effort that has been championed by County Supervisors Greg Cox and Dave Roberts.
The Governor signed AB 848, a bill from Fresno-area Assemblymember Jim Patterson that would remove barriers for some families who want to adopt a foster child.
“We want to get our foster kids adopted into loving, permanent homes and this legislation cuts unnecessary red tape and helps us increase adoptions,” said Supervisor Cox.
“I adopted five children,” said Supervisor Dave Roberts. “I can tell you it is an arduous process. Anything government can do to make it easier for good people to become good parents is another step in the right direction.”
Supervisors Cox and Roberts launched the “Exceptional Families Adoption Campaign” earlier this year to increase public awareness and support for children waiting for adoption.
Nearly 400 children are placed in permanent adoptive homes each year in San Diego County. But currently, there are about 32 foster children who for various reasons have had more difficulty finding a forever home.
Existing state law requires the State Department of Social Services or a county adoption agency to study whether a proposed adoptive home is suitable for a child. The department or agency can order an abbreviated study for prospective parents who are already foster parents or relatives of the child.
AB 848 would add to the list of people who could be subject to abbreviated studies. That list now includes: a licensed foster parent with whom the child has lived at least six months, an approved relative caregiver or non-related extended family member with whom the child has had an ongoing and significant relationship; a court-appointed relative guardian who has had physical custody of the child for at least one year and has been investigated and approved under the guardianship process; or a prospective adoptive parent who has completed an agency-supervised adoption within the last two years.
The County of San Diego officially gave its support to the bill earlier this summer.