How to adopt a child in California

Welcome to Weekend Miracles Los Angeles

Help kids in foster care and learn how to adopt a child in California.

The Need in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles has one of the largest child welfare systems in the country. Right now, there are over 32,000 kids in foster care in LA County. And each year, more than 1,000 kids exit this system, alone and without family or adult support.

Through no fault of their own, these kids (predominately African-American and Latinx) find themselves growing up in a system that – despite its best intentions – was never designed to be a permanent solution. As a result, these teens face tremendous challenges and disadvantages. Weekend Miracles changes the trajectory for these kids, giving them a chance to thrive with a loving, caring mentor or forever family who adopts them.

A unique way to adopt a child in California or become a lifelong mentor.

Our program in works! Since 2005, four out of five kids in Weekend Miracles have found adoptive families or a lifelong connection to a caring adult. Our proven model gives people and families, just like you, a chance to meet and get to know kids before deciding on next steps.

Through our Meet the Kids events, you get the chance to interact and spend time with these amazing kids at safe, fun, interactive events. Through our events, kids and families get to know each other at their own pace. Most importantly, it gives the kids a voice and a choice in who they want to get to know and who may ultimately become their forever family. They choose you too! Our program is carefully designed to cultivate natural connections that lead to hosting and adoption.

Hosts are people just like you. Our hosts are singles, married couples, same-sex couples, with or without children, ready to make a difference in an older kid’s life. Think of hosting as being more than a mentor; you’re a steady support and guide in a child’s life.

Hosts make a one-year commitment to regularly spend time with a child (at least twice a month) and be a champion for them, introducing them to friends, family, colleagues, and their local community in hopes of finding a forever family who is looking to adopt a child. Hosts celebrate the kids’ milestones, their success and help guide them through hard times. For many of our host families, the Weekend Miracles program is the ideal way to adopt a child as it helps build a relationship of connection gradually and more organically.

Regardless of the path you take, you can make an incredible impact on a kid’s life and change your own in the process.

You can do this! Get started today.

Make a difference in an older kid’s life.

Meet the Kids!


Kidsave Los Angeles Weekend Miracles is a partnership between Kidsave and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services that provides a unique way to find families looking for how to adopt in California or how to make long-lasting connections to older children and teens in foster care. This program aims to find waiting children adoptive families by increasing the children’s visibility and accessibility to people who can help them find permanent homes.

  • Children are referred by their social worker and prepared for participation in the program.
  • Families who are prospective hosts complete all requirements and are then approved for participation in the program by DCFS.
  • Children and prospective hosts meet at monthly connection events and get to know each other organically in a fun, interactive environment.
  • After an approved host family and child spend time together at Kidsave connection events and decide they want to be matched for hosting, an official hosting match meeting is held.
  • Host families commit to spending a minimum of 2 days a month with the child for one year, developing a relationship of trust and support with the child.
  • Host families champion their host child to help them find a permanent family by introducing them to their networks and community. Host families may become an adoptive family or long-lasting connection.

The opinions of the children in the program are always considered and, as such, are a key factor to the program’s success. Matches with host families are encouraged based on interests, mutual goals, and the ages and genders of any children living in the host family’s home.

  • Ages 9-17, single children and sibling groups.
  • Children living with foster families, in group homes, or residential centers throughout Los Angeles County.
  • Children who might have educational, emotional, and/or medical needs

Children are referred to the program by their social worker. They must be open to a connection with a host to achieve legal or relational permanency, and capable of actively and independently participating at in-person and virtual events. All children in the program must have family reunification services terminated at the time of referral.

  • Hosts must be at least 25 years old and can be single, married, divorced, or separated, any sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Hosts must be in good health; able to actively support, champion, and mentor their host child.
  • No member of the host household can have a conviction for any violent crime or a crime against a child. Other types of prior convictions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • The host family’s home must provide a safe environment and include adequate space.
  • Hosts must be licensed drivers in good standing.

Some host parents may decide they want to adopt their host child. We are delighted when host parents and children develop such a strong connection. As soon as you think you might be interested in adoption, please let us know. You should not, however, say anything directly to the child.

To be considered a prospective adoptive family, hosts must be Resource Family Approved through LA County DCFS or a Foster Family Agency. While you will undoubtedly be considered as an adoptive parent as you have built a relationship with the child, there is no guarantee that you will be able to adopt the child you host. The child’s social worker has a number of factors to consider when assessing an adoptive family.

Host families must complete Kidsave’s proprietary 12-hour trauma-based training and 2-hour program and advocacy training facilitated by Kidsave. Hosts receive training materials and resources such as the Host Family Handbook, which includes a suggested reading list and explains Kidsave’s unique way of adopting in California.
Kidsave staff supports families through the entire approval process and during hosting. We are here for you!

  • Identification of children who participate in the program
  • Child preparation and individual support
  • Background checks and clearances
  • Approval of host families
  • Social work support to children and families
  • Matching and placement services
  • Pre- and post-adoption support and financial assistance
  • Information and outreach to the community and partnerships with civic, social, fraternal, and faith-based organizations
  • Planning and implementation of monthly advocacy events to introduce the children to the community
  • Publicity about older child adoption
  • Recruitment of host families and advocates, and facilitation of host family and advocate training
  • Our website featuring Kidsave Los Angeles Weekend Miracles and the participating children
  • Fundraising to sustain the program

Most definitely! Weekend Miracles depends on the efforts of many volunteers. Some volunteer opportunities include:

  • Champion children by reaching out to your circle of friends, family, and members of your community and co-workers about kids who need a forever family.
  • Volunteer! at weekend events, fundraisers, or community presentations, help us families, mentors, and other volunteers.
  • Follow us on social media (see links below) and help us spread the word.
  • Create or join a committee for fundraising, event planning, or outreach.Contact Colleen Fisher at colleenf@kidsave.org.
  • Choose Kidsave International as your charity when you shop Amazon Smile or other retailers who support the charity of your choice.
  • Donate! Every dollar goes to programs that help kids find families.
  1. Questions? Complete the Host Inquiry Form. You will be immediately sent information and a link to schedule a phone appointment.
  2. Attend a Weekend Miracles orientation. Learn more about Weekend Miracles to see if the program is right for you.
  3. Ready to host? Complete the online application and go through the checklist you will see upon submission.
  4. Provide required driver’s documents. Once we receive your application, a staff member will request copies of your current, up-to-date documentation.
  5. Complete the four-part, 12-hour host training. Host training focuses on the youth’s journey through the welfare system, abuse, trauma, etc. It is designed to provide our families with better insight to the trauma the youth may have experienced and how it may reflect in their behavior and the relationships they build while in our program.
  6. Participate in program and advocacy training. This 2-hour webinar covers program protocols, roles and responsibilities, and provides tools and resources.
  7. Provide a CPR/First Aid certificate. All host families are required to complete a CPR/First Aid certification. Already certified families may provide a copy of their certificate as long as this is recent (less than 2 years old).
  8. Have an in-home assessment. Once all previous steps are completed, DCFS will assign a social worker who will schedule an in-home visit. During this visit, prospective hosts are evaluated in their suitability to become a host.

While you are completing the Steps to Host visit the host family support center. You will get a password after you submit the application in Step 3.

For more information, please contact weekendmiracles@kidsave.org

These pages are password protected – you will receive a password after you submit your application.

In Los Angeles County, Kidsave partners with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)  to help place older foster youth in permanent care. As the largest child protective services agency in the nation, DCFS is responsible for ensuring the safety of more than 2 million children across 88 diverse cities in Los Angeles County.
DCFS Website

To discover more kids in the Los Angeles County area that need adoptive families please visit The Heart Gallery. The gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit created to find forever families for children in the Los Angeles County foster care system. Heart Gallery LA partners with professional photographers who generously donate their time and talents to capture the spirit and personality of children awaiting adoption.
The Heart Gallery

Weekend Miracles Affiliate Programs
Affiliate Programs

National resources for fostering, adoption, advocacy and mentoring.
National Resources


Upcoming Events


Beating the Heat and Building Connections

Our June 2022 Weekend Miracles Houston event was one to remember. Not only did we mark our first anniversary of in-person Houston events (Yay!) but despite record breaking temperatures we also celebrated our largest Texas event to date. 

We can’t do this without you! Please get involved.

If you want to adopt a child, mentor a teen, volunteer, or start a program in your city please contact us.

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