Adoption Service Providers

An Adoption Service Provider (ASP) is a licensed private adoption agency or individual who advises a birth parent when the birth parent is considering the placement of their child for independent adoption unless the prospective adoptive parent is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, legal guardian who has been the child’s legal guardian for more than three years, or is a person named in the will of a deceased parent as an intended adoptive parent where the child has no other parent.

Registry of California Adoption Service Providers

California statute (Family Code 8502) requires an ASP to be a Licensed California adoption agency, or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), or a Licensed professional clinical counselor having a minimum of five years full-time experience providing professional adoption casework services while employed by a licensed California adoption agency, a County Child Welfare agency, and/or the California Department of Social Services (Department).

The statute does not allow for any substitution of experience.  The applicant must have five years of experience in a California adoption agency.  Thus, for example, direct-adoption experience in another state, or experience in a California adoption agency providing services other than adoption, cannot count toward the five-year experience requirement.

The Department has no authority to waive, modify, or otherwise make exemptions to these statutory requirements.

If you meet the statutory requirements to be an ASP, you may register with the Department by doing the following:

  1. Email a photocopy of your original or renewed LCSW and/or LMFT license.
  2. Obtain from the California adoption agency or agencies for which you worked while gaining the required five years of experience a letter(s) attesting to your employment experience.  The letter(s) must specify that your experience was professional adoption casework services performed after receipt of either a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree or a post-graduate degree listed in Section 4980.40 of the California Business and Professions Code.
  3. List the names of the counties you will be available to provide ASP services.

These documents should be emailed as a package to: AdoptionServiceProviders@dss.ca.gov.

The Department will review your submitted documents and notify you by email whether your application has been approved or disapproved.

Below is a current listing of LCSWs and LMFTs who have been certified by the Department as an ASP in accordance with Section 8502 of the California Family Code.  Also listed are those licensed California adoption agencies which have indicated that they will act as an ASP.

Contact Us

Adoption Services Branch
744 P Street, MS 8-12-521
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-8089
Email: AdoptionServiceProviders@dss.ca.gov

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