Adoption is a serious matter. Considering the fact that adoption involves transferring parental rights from birth parents to adoptive parents and the fact that the birth parents may never see their child again, how could it not be a serious matter? Obviously, adoption laws exist for very good reasons. If you are considering adopting a child in California, it is important that you understand how the process works.
Obtaining Consent for an Adoption
In nearly every case, consent is required for the adoption process to get started. This consent must be given by:
Both of the child’s parents if they are married
Both of the child’s parents, even if they are not married, as long as the father’s name appears on the birth certificate
The child’s custodial parent only if the other parent has failed to communicate with or support the child for to least one year
The child’s custodial parent only if the other parent fails to respond to a court-issued notice of adoption proceedings that has been delivered to him or her
The adoptive parent’s spouse
The child being adopted as long as he/she is at least 12 years old
The foregoing is an abbreviated summary of consent requirements under California law. As with just about every legal issue, the details are far more complicated.
The Home Study
The home study is the process by which California adoption officials evaluate whether the child’s living environment would suit his best interests under your care. It involves:
Submitting your fingerprints;
Submitting to a medical examination;
Attending adoption classes;
Being interviewed by a social worker on several occasions; and
Submitting to a visit from a social worker in your home as well as an investigation of the child’s living conditions.
Your adoption application might be refused if you have ever been convicted of a crime involving child endangerment or child pornogrpahy. Other criminal offenses, such as violent crimes or alcohol- and drug-related crimes, might disqualify you if they occurred within five years previously. The same rules apply to any adult living in your home.
Finalizing the Adoption
If you successfully complete the home study, your adoption can be finalized in as little as six more months. You will need to undergo several more interviews with a social worker, including at least one interview with your child present.
International adoptions are growing increasingly popular, especially from China. If your adoption was finalized under, say, Chinese law, it would still be to your child’s advantage for you to re-adopt your child under California law. This would allow him or her to have an English language U.S. birth certificate. As long as your adoption was finalized overseas, however, re-adoption is not a legal requirement.
At CKB Vienna LLP, we can help you navigate the maze of California adoption law, whether you seek a domestic adoption or you seek to finalize an adoption commenced overseas. If you seek assistance with an adoption, feel free to telephone us at 909-980-1040 or simply fill out our online form so that we can schedule a consultation.
We serve prospective adoptive parents from all over Rancho Cucamonga, including Alta Loma, Etiwanda, and Claremont, among other neighborhoods.