Category Archives: Adoption

An Overview of California Adoption

An Overview of California Adoption
California law provides many options for adoption. Of course, California recognizes traditional adoptions, which rely on a state agency. However, California recognizes that all families and their needs are different. For that reason, other mechanisms include stepparent/domestic partner adoption, relative (kinship) adoption, independent adoption, and international adoption.

Traditional Agency Adoption

In a traditional adoption, the California Department of Social Services is involved in the placement of the child with a family, which may consist of a single person. The agency conducts a home study and supervises the adoption placement for a period of time before court approval. A major advantage of adopting a child through the state agency is that state regulations apply. Many children adopted in this manner are in state custody before being placed with a family.

Stepparent/Domestic Partner Adoption

California uses a streamlined adoption procedure when the stepparent or domestic partner of a biological parent wants to adopt a child. To take advantage of this procedure, two requirements must be met:

  • The person who wants to adopt the child must have been married to or in a domestic partnership with the biological parent when the child was born.
  • The person who wants to adopt the child must still be married to or in a domestic partnership with the child’s biological parent.

In these cases, no home study is completed.

Relative (Kinship) Adoption

A simple procedure is also used when certain eligible relatives wish to adopt a child. A relative adoption is unique in several ways, such as the following:

  • The relative can continue to receive financial assistance from the state.
  • After the case is closed, no state agency continues to provide supervision of the relationship between the relative and the child.
  • The relative can choose to enter into an agreement with the biological parents to allow their continuing contact with the child.

Relative adoptions can help continue important family relationships while allowing the relative to receive financial assistance for raising the child.

Independent Adoption

In an independent adoption, no state agency or placement agency is involved in the adoption process. Instead, the adoptive parents and the birth parents agree themselves to the adoption. A main advantage to this option is that parental rights of the birth parents need not be terminated if everyone agrees. Because independent adoptions are highly regulated, is usually advisable to consult with an attorney if you choose this option.

International Adoption

When child to be adopted in California is born overseas, it is referred to as an international adoption. International adoptions can be more complicated because of differing country laws and because the child must have a visa to enter the United States. This is another area in which working with an experienced attorney can help make everything go more smoothly and according to your expectations.

Adopting a child is very exciting and can be very rewarding. If you need the assistance of an experienced California family lawyer to protect your interests in an adoption proceeding, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can help. Make the call today to learn how our attorneys help: (415) 293-8314.


California Adoption Basics

Man's hands hold kid's handful

Adoption is the legal process of creating a new parent-child relationship with an adopting parent who is not a child’s birth parent. An adoptive parent may be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative, or someone completely unrelated. The most important qualifying factor is that the adoptive parent must unequivocally desire to permanently be the parent of a particular child. Once the adoption process is final, adoptive parents hold all legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. This new parent-child relationship is permanent and is exactly the same as that of a birth family. The most common type of adoption in California is a stepparent or domestic partner adoption. In a stepparent or domestic partner adoption, the spouse or domestic partner of the child’s parent adopts the child. The couple must be legally married or registered as domestic partners. This type of adoption is a little simpler than the others, because one of the child’s birth parents remains the child’s parent. To learn more about the adoption process, contact an experienced California family law attorney.  At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we can discuss your options and recommend a strategy to help you achieve the best outcome possible in your family court proceedings. Judy L. Burger is known for taking a firm stand in representing clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas.  If you are a parent facing a family law dispute, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.

Notifying the Other Birth Parent of an Adoption

iStock_girl w sunflowerAdopting a stepchild or domestic partner’s child is a fairly common milestone for many families.  Adoption has the effect of uniting a family while legally terminating the parental rights of a birth parent who has little or no involvement in the child’s life. In many cases, the uninvolved birth parent will consent to an adoption. It is also possible to carry out an adoption without his or her consent. Allowing an adoption without a parent’s consent is a serious matter, so a court will not proceed until the uninvolved birth parent has had a chance to present his or her objections. If possible, one way to speed up an adoption case is to get the uninvolved birth parent’s written consent to the adoption. If written consent is not possible, then the prospective adoptive parent must locate the uninvolved birth parent and provide a last known address to the court. If the uninvolved birth parent cannot be located, the prospective adoptive parent must convince the court that he or she made a good faith effort to find the uninvolved parent and notify him or her of the adoption proceedings. A stepparent or domestic partner adoption should be a joyful time for your family. Talk to an attorney experienced in California family law to help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, without any unexpected surprises along the way. Judy L. Burger is an experienced California family law attorney serving the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento area.  If your family is considering an adoption, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.