Important Changes Due to the COVID-19 Virus

  • During this time, the Department of Human Services is encouraging customers to utilize online self-service options. We have shortened our hours as a result of Kern County moving to an essential-staffing only model due to the quickly changing situation related to the COVID-19 virus. 
  • While our office will be closed to the public, we will continue to provide restricted in-person homeless services only between the hours of 7:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Our main lobby located at 100 E. California Avenue, Bakersfield, will conduct in-office interviews with our homeless clients by telephone utilizing the recently installed telephones in the lobby interview booths.
  • Due to these shortened hours and social distancing regulations, we are encouraging our clients to make use of our online options. Please go to and download the mobile app to apply for and keep track of your benefits, services, and application and redetermination forms. Applications for CalFresh may be made by phone at (661) 631-6062 and applications for Medi-Cal benefits can be made by calling 1-800-300-1506.
  • If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at (661) 631-6011 (Countywide) or (760) 375-6049 in Ridgecrest. Reports of child abuse can be made at any time.
  • Also, due to our limited service hours, we are encouraging clients to contact the EBT Customer Service line toll free at 1-877-328-9677 to report a lost, stolen, or damaged card, as well as to request a card replacement by mail.
  • Information regarding services will also be available by phone at (661) 631-6000. We want to reiterate, all critical services will be provided during our shortened hours.

Thank you for understanding.


Kern County Adoption Agency

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Columbus Center
(Adoptions only)
3711 Columbus Street
Bakersfield, CA 93306
(661) 873-2400 [Map]

The Kern County Adoption Agency is a full service adoption agency, licensed by the State of California Department of Social Services.

Adoption Agency Services include:

  • Assessment of a child or children
  • Moving children from foster care into a permanent home
  • Various legal services required to facilitate adoption
  • Post-adoption services - including counseling referrals, birthparent and/or adoptee searches and background information

The Children

The vast majority of children placed for adoption through the Kern County Adoption Agency are children who entered the child welfare system due to safety concerns in their family of origin. There are children of all ages in the child welfare system who need out-of-home care. Many are, or will become, eligible for adoption by relatives or licensed foster parents. The Adoption Agency is continually seeking families that are motivated to make a difference in the life of a child.

Permanency Plans

Once it is determined that reunification with a child's birth family is not possible, then adoption, legal guardianship or long- term foster care become options. When a child is freed for adoption, it is frequently the care provider, whether it is a relative or foster parent, who is considered as the prospective permanent family.

The Adoption Process

Families who desire to adopt through the Agency must apply and be approved for an adoptive placement upon meeting the requirements of the California Department of Social Services.

The Need for Resource Family Approved Homes

Resource Family approval is needed to adopt through the Kern County Adoption Agency and is available through the Department of Human Services. Many resource families become licensed solely for the purpose of adoption.

For More Information

For additional questions about adoptions, contact the Kern County Adoption Agency at 661-873-2400 and ask to speak with the Adoption Social Worker of the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be married to adopt?
No. Adoptive parents can be single or married, male or female.

Am I too old or too young to adopt?
The general rule is that an adoptive parent must be at least 10 years older than the child they are wishing to adopt. Many grandparents or retired people are also adopting children today.

Do I have to be wealthy to adopt?
No. While independent adoptions through a private adoption agency generally cost thousands of dollars, the fee for adopting a child through Kern County Adoption Agency is approximately $500, which is routinely waived by DHS.

Is financial and medical assistance available?
While prospective adoptive families need to be self-supporting, most children adopted through the Agency are eligible for financial assistance and Medi-Cal through the Adoption Assistance Program. Assistance is based on need and may continue until the child is age 21. The program is designed to allow children to be adopted rather than remain in foster care.