Post Adoption Services Unit
The Post Adoption Services (PAS) Unit has grown over the years to meet the ongoing needs of individuals who have participated in an adoption through Los Angeles County DCFS. Our goal is to strengthen and empower adoptive families, to respond to information inquiries from adult adopted persons and birth families and to provide information about and access to resources for adoption triad members. Post Adoption Services are provided in a variety of ways, including individual and group contact and work with community-based organizations.
Adoptive Parents who are raising children they’ve adopted through L.A. County DCFS by providing information, referrals to resources, individual crisis counseling and support, monthly support groups, family preservation services, assistance with and recertification of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefits.
For many parents who have adopted a child who has been in the foster care system, whether the child they adopt is a relative or not, exiting “the system” is a goal, and something to celebrate. At the same time, for many adoptive parents, there is a sense of loss as they no longer have the directives, guidance and/or support of the many people and services within the system that were there before the adoption finalized.
When adoptive parents contact PAS after finalization, they often expect the PAS social worker to function in the same way as their pre-finalization Children’s Social Worker (CSW). However, this is not the case; the PAS worker does not have the responsibilities that the CSW did in managing any aspect of a child’s “case”. After adoption finalization, all responsibilities rest with the adoptive parent. The PAS social worker can provide invaluable insight, suggestions and support to an adoptive parent who has questions about or is struggling with some aspect of parenting and/or adoption.
Adult Adoptees who have been adopted through L.A. County DCFS, by providing information, referrals to resources, individual crisis counseling and support, non-identifying information about birth family members (if the information is in our case files) and by accepting written consent for future contact with birth parents and siblings.
PAS can only provide non-identifying information to an adoptee about their birth parents. This information could include physical descriptions, medical history and circumstances leading up to the adoption. We are prohibited by law from providing the name, birth date and other identifying information about the birth parents. **Exception: If PAS has written consent from both parties (i.e. the adult adoptee and birth parent), we CAN release identifying information and assist in facilitating a reunion.
Birth Parents who have relinquished a child or had their child removed from them and placed for adoption through L.A. County DCFS, by accepting written consent for future contact with their child and providing non-identifying information about their adult child.
If you are a birth parent who would like to explore relinquishing your infant/child to have them placed for adoption, please call the DCFS Placement & Recruitment unit at (888) 811-1121, extension 2. A social worker will call you back the same or next business day.
If you are a birth parent who relinquished a child many years ago and are now wanting to find that child, PAS can only provide you with general information about the family that was selected for your child. We can only disclose your child’s adoptive name/address if your child has submitted to PAS written consent to do so.
An adoption reunion is the term commonly used when birth parents, adult adoptees and birth siblings reconnect. Reunions can be facilitated by DCFS when birth parents and adoptees or siblings have previously agreed in writing to be contacted.
Birth parents and adult adoptees are required to sign and notarize consents indicating that the birth parent or adult adoptee are open to contact. Sibling Waivers are used to allow contact between the Adoptee and other siblings. Occasionally, the Court may intervene and order the Department to act as an Intermediary in attempting to arrange for contact between birth siblings.
If you were a part of an adoption through DCFS and want to connect with your birth family, please call 1 (800) 735-4984 and the PAS unit will determine if all pertinent members of the adoption have signed agreements that would allow us to facilitate a reunion.
Adoption search and reunion can be a challenging journey, and birth parents and adult adoptees should be emotionally prepared for all outcomes. PAS recommends that those seeking a reunion keep their expectations of the relationship realistic and take things one step at a time. For example, you may want to exchange several phone calls, e-mails or letters before meeting face to face. You may also want to have a supportive friend or family member readily available to you as you move forward in the process. Talk with a PAS social worker about how to best prepare yourself for the reunion journey.
Independent Adoption Search and Reunion
If you would like information about an Independent Adoption that has occurred in the past, please call California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Adoption Support Unit at (916) 651-8088. Learn more about Independent Adoption.