Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements - California

Date: July 2020

Use of Advertisement

Citation: Family Code §§ 8609(a); 8624

No person or organization may advertise in any periodical or newspaper, by radio, or other public medium that he, she, or it will place or provide children for adoption or cause any advertisement to be published in any public medium soliciting, requesting, or asking for any child or children for adoption, unless that person or organization is licensed to place children for adoption by the Department of Social Services.

Any advertising by an adoption facilitator shall meet the following requirements:

  • Identify the name of the party placing the advertisement and shall state that the party is an adoption facilitator
  • Be subject to § 17500 of the Business and Professions Code
  • Provide, in any written advertisement, the required disclosure that identifies the party is an adoption facilitator, as follows:
    • In print that is the same size and typeface as the name of the adoption facilitator or any telephone number specified in the advertisement, whichever is the larger print size
    • In the same color as the most prominent print in the advertisement when the advertisement contains more than one color
  • Present the required disclosure in a readily understandable manner and at the same speed and volume, if applicable, as the rest of the advertisement, if the advertisement is a television advertisement

Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators

Citation: Family Code §§ 8623; 8625; 8628; 8680; 8631; 8632

An adoption facilitator is a person or organization not licensed as an adoption agency that charges a fee for rendering services related to an adoption or that advertises for the purpose of soliciting parties to an adoption, locating children for an adoption, or acting as an intermediary to an adoption.

Requirements for adoption facilitators include the following:

  • Any written contract must be verbally explained to the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents.
  • Adopting parents must be given in writing all information provided by the birth parents about the child.
  • Fees and expenses paid must be reported to the court.

An adoption facilitator shall not do any of the following:

  • Mislead a person into believing that the adoption facilitator is a licensed adoption agency
  • Represent to any person that the adoption facilitator can provide services for which the adoption facilitator is not properly licensed
  • Make use of photolisting to advertise minor children for placement in adoption
  • Post in any advertising specific information about particular children who are available for adoption placement

All contracts entered into by an adoption facilitator shall be in writing and, at a minimum, include the following:

  • A statement that the adoption facilitator is not licensed as an adoption agency
  • A statement disclosing on whose behalf the facilitator is acting
  • A statement that the adoption facilitator cannot provide any services for which the facilitator is not properly licensed, such as legal or therapeutic counseling
  • A list of all the services that the adoption facilitator is required to provide