In California, an adoption is defined as the legal process that terminated the birth parents’ parental rights and permanently transfers these parental rights to the adoptive parents such that the adopted child is considered to be a family member. Anyone can become an adoptive parent and adopt a child, even if you are single, do not own your own home, or older in age.
Guardianship of a child is awarded in California when a California probate court appoints an adult, who is not the child’s parent, to care for and tend to a child or a child’s property. The California probate court can only grant probate guardianship if the child is not involved in a Family Court or Juvenile Court action. There are two types of probate guardianships; guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate.
The Law Offices of Edward Misleh, APC is a Sacramento law firm, located in Sacramento, California that handles California child custody matters and California guardianship issues. Due to the fact that we primarily represent clients with family law matters, we are able to provide our Sacramento, California clients and clients in Northern California with services they need and deserve when addressing California custody or guardianships. Call now our Lawyer Hotline. We offer a free consultation to all new clients. Call now 916-443-1267 for your free consultation.
What is a California adoption? How do I adopt? What is involved for an adoption?
California adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent. All rights and responsibilities for the adopted child are permanently transferred from the biological parent to the adopting party.
The use of a licensed public or private adoption agency or a California Department of Social Services adoption district office that places child for adoption with the adoptive parents. The birth parent’s parental rights are terminated either by either a court order or by the filing a Relinquishment to give the adoption agency legal responsibility for a child. The agency studies and approves the adoptive applicants and then places the child in the adoptive parents’ home for adoption. The agency then supervises the placement for six or more months before the court approves the adoption.
In an agency adoption, the process may be lengthy, depending on the workload of the agency selected, it will take anywhere from six months to a year to complete an adoption family assessment. Most adoptive placements occur one to several months after the family assessment has been approved.
Independent California Adoption
This is a direct transfer between the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents to transfer parental rights. Both birth parents must have personal knowledge of certain facts about the adopting parents; must receive an advisement of rights, responsibilities, and options from an Adoption Service Provider; and must also sign an Independent Adoption Placement Agreement which, unless revoked, in 30 days automatically becomes an irrevocable consent to adoption.
In an independent adoption, the process will vary based on when the prospective adoptive parents were chosen by birth parents. However, the department or delegated county adoption agency must investigate the proposed adoption within 180 days after they receive a copy of the filed petition and the adoption fee.
Intercountry California Adoption
The prospective parents adopt a foreign-born child who qualifies for a special immigration entry visa. Intercountry adoption includes completion of the adoption process both in the child’s native country and in California. The length of time for this process will vary with each country.
Foster children eligible for adoption are in the California child welfare system awaiting permanent homes. Parental rights to these children have been terminated by court order.
The California Adoption Assistance Program can provide financial assistance and some medical coverage for foster children who are adopted and this assistance may continue until the child is age 18 or, in certain circumstances, age 21.
California Paid Family Leave Insurance Program extends disability compensation to allow adoptive parents who take time off work to bond with a new child.
Obtaining Information on Your California Adoption or Contacting Your Birth Parents
The California Department of Social Services, or the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption can provide non identifying background information on birth parents to the adopted child. The information provided includes general facts about the birth parents and their medical history. This service is available only for adoptions that were finalized in California. If you do not know the name of the licensed adoption agency, you can make a request for this information from California Department Social Services.
California has a Mutual Consent Program that is administered by either the California Department Social Services that will provide you with information on your adoption. In addition to the Mutual Consent Program, the Adoptions Information Act applies to adoptions in which birth parents signed the relinquishment for adoption or consent to adoption, or in which the birth parents’ rights were involuntarily terminated by court action on or after January 1, 1984.
Contacting Your Sibling
Through the Mutual Consent Program, adoptees and siblings may obtain information to make contact with a Waiver of Rights to Confidentiality for Siblings. Adoptees or siblings must be 18 years of age or older. Once California Department Social Services receives information from both siblings, they will disclose each one’s name and address to the other.
Obtaining a Birth Certificate
You must file a petition where your adoption was finalized to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate. The petition must establish good and compelling cause for the granting of the order which is at the sole discretion of the court as to whether the original birth certificate will be unsealed.
Obtaining Information on the Adopted Child or Contacting the Adopted Child
California Department Social Services or the private adoption agency that handled the adoption can give birth parents’ information on the status of the adoption and general non identifying background information regarding the adoptive parents, including information on the progress of the child at the time of the adoption.
California has a Mutual Consent Program that is administered by either the California Department Social Services or the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption. Once either agency receives consent forms for the birth parent and the adopted child who is 18 years of age or older, they can release contact information.
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