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San Diego County Streamlines Adoption Process

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The County Streamlines Adoption Process

Like spinning on a merry-go-round, the process of adopting children can be a dizzying experience. It’s been especially difficult to place foster children and their siblings.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is trying to improve that process. On Tuesday, the supervisors launched a new adoption campaign, hoping to recruit more individuals and families to adopt children.

Feedback from 200 families who went through the adoption process recommended making it more clear and accurate with less paperwork to fill out. The county agreed and is streamlining the process to make it more efficient and quicker.

"Adoption is a burdensome process when you're trying to navigate through it. There's a lot that's required of an adoptive family, even though there is no income requirement, you do not have to own your own home to adopt a child. It really is about love and compassion," said Debra Zanders-Willis, director of Child Welfare Services.

Donna and Roland Elkins have adopted three siblings, ages 14, 12, and 11, with help from the county, after already raising three of their own kids.

"Really, for me joining a support group, that was very helpful because other people that were going through that process could tell you. Here's the best way to do this or here's the class you need to take, so I was very thankful for that," Donna Elkins said.

Supervisors Greg Cox and Dave Roberts launched the Exceptional Families for Exceptional Children campaign a year ago.

"This holiday season we think it's a good time to remind people that there's a lot of kids that maybe aren't going to have the joyous holiday season we'd like them to have because they haven't been adopted yet," Cox said.

The campaign's goal is to find permanent homes for more than 40 children who've been difficult to place for various reasons.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.