How to Register

California statute requires all Adoption Facilitators that operate independently from a licensed public or private adoption agency or an adoption attorney in California to register with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

To become a registered Adoption Facilitator, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess a business license in the appropriate jurisdiction.
  • Post a surety bond in the amount of $25,000. If there is a recovery from the bond, you must replenish the bond or file a new bond if the former bond cannot be replenished before you may conduct further business as an Adoption Facilitator. You are also required to notify the CDSS in writing within 30 days when a surety bond is renewed.
  • Have completed two years of college courses, with at least half of the units and hours focusing on social work or a related field.
  • Have been employed minimum three years by a licensed public or private adoption agency (issued by the CDSS), a registered Adoption Facilitator, or an adoption attorney who acts as an Adoption Facilitator.
  • Undergo a criminal background check.

The statute does allow for the education/experience requirements to be waived if you have over five years of work experience providing direct adoption services for a licensed adoption agency and you have not been found liable of malfeasance in connection with providing adoption services.

The application process is conducted in two phases. Phase I consists of completing the form AD 70 (Adoption Facilitator Registry Application) and submitting it with the following supporting documentation:

  • A copy of government issued identification (e.g., driver's license or passport).
  • A copy of your business license.
  • A copy of your current surety bond.
  • Proof of education (school transcripts).
  • Proof of experience/employment history.

AD 4337 - Criminal Record Statement

A non-refundable registration fee of $250.00 is required for your application to be processed. Make check or money order payable to the California Department of Social Services.

If you are requesting a waiver of education/experience requirements, please provide the following additional information:

  • Proof of five years of work experience providing direct adoption services for a licensed adoption agency.
  • Three letters of support attesting to their ethics and work providing direct adoption services from any of the following:
    • A licensed public or private adoption agency;
    • A member of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers; or,
    • The California Department of Social Services.

Phase II of the process commences when you receive a conditional approval letter from the CDSS. A live scan form with instructions will be included with the conditional approval letter.

Based on the results of the criminal background check, your registration application will be approved or disapproved. You will be notified in writing of this determination.

If you are approved, your name and information will be included on the CDSS Adoption Facilitator Registry Website at the next revision cycle. The posting of updated information on the registry will be every 30 days.

A renewal fee of $250.00 must be paid annually. You will receive a notice of the upcoming renewal.

How to Register as a Trainee

Registered Adoption Facilitators may also register staff members as "trainees." Trainees may provide services, under the direct supervision of the registered Adoption Facilitator, without meeting both the educational and experiential requirements. The trainee must complete the AD 71 (Adoption Facilitator Registry – Trainee Application). The completed application must be submitted by the adoption facilitator. Trainees must complete the AD 4337 (Criminal Record Statement) and LIC 9163 (Request for Live Scan Service) to undergo a criminal background check. After the criminal background check is cleared, the trainee will receive an approval letter and their name will be added to the registry.

To Request Additional Information or Application Packets Contact:

California Department of Social Services
Adoption Services Branch
744 P Street, MS 8-12-521
Sacramento, CA  95814
(916) 651-8089

Contact Us

Adoption Services Branch
744 P Street, MS 8-12-521
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-8089

Quick Links