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Stef and Lena small screen example of California foster care and adoption

California provides opportunities for all family types to grow. An example of this can be seen with ABC Family’s The Fosters.

A show of unity
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

In its 2nd season, the one-hour television drama showcases a same-sex couple, Stef and Lena, foster and adoptive parents to five children: Jesus Foster, Jude, Brandon Foster, Callie and Mariana Foster.

Although fictitious, the show demonstrates what it could be like to have same-sex parents in San Diego, Calfornia.

California is one of six states that have laws in place to help same-sex couples become foster or adoptive parents. Some states specifically protect same-sex foster parents, others prohibit them from becoming licensed, and most don't address the issue at all.

Single, married and unmarried couples can all be licensed foster or adoptive parents in California regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Individuals and couples become foster parents for a lot of reasons. Some are caregivers to children until the children in their care can return home. Others, want to add to their family permanently.

To become foster parents, applicants must first attend an orientation session to find out more about the licensing process and the reality of caring for children from diverse backgrounds.

Prospective foster parents are required to maintain a safe living space for children entering their home. Post-licensing requirements include routine checks by social workers responsible for individual cases. These are either announced or unannounced visits.

Caring for children is expensive. Monetary assistance received by foster parents is dependent on a child’s age, level of care and agency to which they are licensed. This money is used for clothing, school supplies and general care.

Any money received is exclusively for the child or children in care. This helps make foster care and adopting from foster care more affordable. If a foster parent decides to adopt a child, they may also be eligible for a post-adoption assistance.

For more information about same-sex foster care and same-sex adoption in California and other states visit Child Welfare Information Gateway and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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