Since the earliest days of Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services’ long history of serving the people of Southern California, it has offered cottage-style homes to its children, the first-ever orphanage in the region to do so. In the intervening years, its offerings have expanded to include services for families with children on the autism spectrum and with other special needs, as well as those looking for mental health counseling, psycho-educational evaluation, parenting resources, and adoption services.
1. A trusted leader in adoption services
With the oldest adoption program in its region, Vista stands out as a pioneer in the field of adoption. The professionalism and attentive, compassionate engagement with families that characterize its other service programs also distinguish its adoption services, which enjoy widespread public trust. Fully accredited and licensed, its adoption services program has earned a national reputation for its thoroughness and integrity.
Vista’s professionals are able to address the entire range of needs centered on forming a new family, from foster care placement, the foster-to-adoption process, international adoptions, and counseling and support for birth parents who choose adoption. The Vista team also provides the required home study services, as well as pre-adoption workshops and post-adoption services, preparation of the necessary court paperwork, cooperative adoptions handled with attorneys and facilitators, and more.
Because Vista maintains strong relationships with not only multiple adoption attorneys and facilitators, but also local hospitals and maternity clinics that serve birth parents, it provides relatively short turnaround times; after completion of a home study, for example, the average wait time for a prospective adoptive family to be matched with a child ranges from a year to a year and a half.
Additionally, Vista can provide adoptive families with information on the federal Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), which gives most children adopted through an agency or foster care specified financial benefits, as well as health care benefits through the Medi-Cal program.
2. Compassion, respect, and cultural competence
On its website, Vista addresses several common adoption-related questions, including whether single adults and members of the LGBTQ community can qualify to adopt, to which the response is “yes.” In fact, Vista has earned a seal of recognition from the Human Rights Commission for its work in helping LGBTQ parents build their families.
The core values that each Vista adoption services professional observes are openness, honesty, and compassion. Each birth family and adoptive family is received with respect and a warm welcome at Vista, where its culturally competent staff focuses on developing a sense of comfort and trust.
3. Support through a life-changing process
These are among the key reasons that birth and adoptive families work with Vista. The adoption process offers a chance to start or complete a family, provide a loving home for a child in need, and create positive changes in the lives of everyone involved. But because it can also be stressful and demand emotional vulnerability, Vista makes a point to offer intensive support throughout the process – and afterwards.
In California, an estimated 2,000 children in need of an adoptive family enter the system daily. Some children wait for years in foster care before finding permanent adoptive homes. Many of the children most in need are older, are non-white, or have special needs. For children who age out of the foster care system without finding an adoptive family, the risks to social, emotional, and educational development are significant.
The right adoption offers a world of advantages to a child. As members of a family, they will develop lasting bonds with parents and family members. A successful adoption provides a child with a sense of belonging and security, setting the foundation for healthy development at each stage of growth toward maturity. Adopted children, like other children in stable homes, are also statistically less likely to experience domestic abuse and develop substance abuse issues or harmful behavior patterns.
Similarly, an adopted child offers their new family a chance for personal and emotional growth, in part by returning their adoptive family’s gift of love, care, and acceptance with trust and reliance as they build a new relationship. Adoptive parents can also experience gratification from sharing their good fortune with a child who might otherwise never have had even their most basic needs fulfilled.
For birth parents who decide that adoption gives their child the best chance in life, there is peace of mind in knowing that pre-screened, qualified, loving adoptive parents are ready and willing to provide their child with a home. A birth parent who is unready to raise a child can pursue dreams of education and career that otherwise might have had to wait for years or remain unfulfilled. And in many cases, birth parents and adoptive families can reach agreements to maintain a relationship, allowing the adopted child a continued connection that benefits everyone.
To learn more, visit Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services at VistaDelMar.org.