Adoption Lawyers in San Luis Obispo, CA
Adopting is a wonderful way to expand your family while giving a child the opportunity to grow up in a loving and stable environment that they otherwise may not have. If you are looking to adopt and open your home to a child, talk to one of our California adoption lawyers to help you with the process.
Call 805 Law Group to get in touch with our San Luis Obispo family law attorneys and get help in your adoption case in California.
Adoption in California
In California alone, there are around 80,000 waiting children in foster care, 50,000 of which need permanent homes. These foster children come from a variety of backgrounds and ages, spanning from infants to teenagers.
While some kids are able to reunite with their birth mother or birth father, other children aren’t so lucky, especially those with more vulnerable backgrounds including mixed race and minority children, sibling groups, children with special needs, and children aged 6 or older.
Adopting a child does not only mean you can get children of your own, it also means that you are able to provide for the needs of someone who would otherwise be struggling in the system. Opening your home to a child means you’ll be able to give them the stability that any child deserves.
If you’re interested in adopting, our San Luis Obispo adoption lawyers can assist you in completing the legal requirements for adoption. We will help you navigate the complexities of California adoption laws and determine what type of adoption is right for you.
Types of Adoption in California
Stepparent or Domestic Partner Adoption
In stepparent adoption, the new spouse of the child’s biological parent is allowed to legally adopt the child. This can arise due to a variety of circumstances, including cases of abandonment, abuse, and neglect.
But this can also happen due to positive circumstances, such as a stepparent having a good relationship with the child and wanting to be legally recognized as an adoptive parent.
This type of adoption requires the stepparent to be married or in a registered domestic partnership with the biological parent. If you apply for stepparent adoption and the court approves and completes the adoption, you will have all the same parental rights and responsibilities towards the child as the child’s biological parent.
Second Parent Adoption
Second parent adoption is similar to stepparent adoption, with the exception that the stepparent does not have to be married or in a registered domestic relationship with the biological parent.
Second parent adoption does not terminate the first parent’s legal rights and obligations to the child.
It is a common misconception that adoption is only limited to children. Adults can, in fact, be adopted as well. Adult adoptions usually happen for inheritance purposes where an older adult (or adult couple) wants to make a younger adult their legal heir.
Private adoption refers to adoptions that don’t go through the foster care system. This occurs when parents adopt the biological child of someone they already know.
Domestic adoption simply means that a parent living in the US is adopting a child that is also living in the US. This type of adoption isn’t mutually exclusive from those already mentioned above.
International adoption, on the other hand, is when a parent residing in the US is adopting a child that was born and is living in another country. This type of adoption can be tedious because it may involve a lot of travel to and from the child’s country, but it can be a noble act of bringing a child to a place where he has more freedom and opportunities for self-actualization.
It is important to know the type of adoption that you will be doing because the type determines the paperwork and process that you will have to do. If you have any questions about the adoption process and adoption papers, don’t hesitate to talk to one of our California adoption attorneys to learn more.
Adoption Process in California
The specific adoption process depends on the type of adoption you are filing. Our San Luis Obispo family attorneys at 805 Law Group can provide legal assistance and representation so you can have a smooth adoption process.
Fill out Court Forms
You will have to fill out an ADOPT-200 Form (Adoption Request Form), ADOPT-210 Form (Adoption Agreement Form), and ADOPT-215 Form (Adoption Order Form). Other types of adoption may require other specific forms such as Confirming Parentage Forms for stepparent adoptions and Adoption of Indian Child for adopting Native American children.
Once you have completed these forms, you should have them reviewed at a local self-help center or family law facilitator. Our San Luis Obispo adoption lawyer to help you fill out these forms so that you know you’ve filled them up correctly the first time around.
Filing Court Forms
Once you have had your forms checked and corrected any mistakes, it will be time to file your documents, but before you do that, make sure you have duplicates of all the forms. You will have to file your forms with the court clerk. You will also have to pay a filing fee, but you can ask for a fee waiver if you cannot afford the filing fee.
Talk to The Child
If the child that you will adopt is 12 years of age and older, you will have to talk to them and ask for their consent to be adopted. You’ll need to appear before the judge where the child will give his consent to make the adoption final. If the child is below 12 years old, you do not have to get his consent.
Serve Papers to Birth Parents
You will have to serve the Adoption Request Form (ADOPT-200 Form) to the birth parent who is not your spouse or domestic partner. Serving essentially means giving the parent the form with the court date on it. Take note that serving must be done by another adult who is not you.
Once the other parent has received the form, he must consent to the adoption. In case he does not consent to it, you will still be able to adopt the child, but only in the following circumstances:
- The judge decides that it is in the best interest of the child to be adopted by you and decides to push through with the adoption,
- The other parent for more than a year and has not paid any child support or talked to the child,
- You also serve the other birth parent with an Adoption Request. The other parent will have to appear in court to object to the adoption.
Interview and Adoption Home Study
The court then issues an investigator to interview and investigate you and write a report. The investigator is usually a court investigator, social worker, or family therapist. Home studies are conducted to make sure that the adoptive parents are suitable and ready to adopt children.
Get a Court Date and Attend Your Adoption Hearing
After the investigation, the investigator will give his report to the clerk. Once this is done, the clerk will schedule a date for your adoption hearing.
On the date of your hearing, you must bring all your properly-filled-out forms. The child must also be in attendance. It is in this hearing where your adoption petition will be evaluated and finally approved or rejected.
Consult Our San Luis Obispo Adoption Lawyers!
If you have any more questions about adoption laws, how to adopt a child, special needs adoption, or if you are in need of any more adoption information, don’t hesitate to talk to our adoption attorneys at 805 Law Group.
Our adoption lawyers are knowledgeable of the adoption laws and will provide you with adoption resources to help you understand the legal process behind adoption in the United States.