LegalDoc-Prep has been honored to assist many loving families in the adoption process. We handle the document preparation over the two main methods of adopting children or loved ones; Step-Parent Adoptions or the Adoption of an Adult
Adoption by a Step Parent
Adoption is the legal process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child’s biological or birth parent. That means that once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents have all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. That new parent-child relationship is permanent and is exactly the same as that of a birth family. An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood.
Notice Must be Served on the other Biological Parent
In a Family Court Stepparent or Domestic Partner Adoption proceedings. It is necessary to serve notice of the adoption hearing to the other biological parent, if living. If the whereabouts of this parent are unknown and there is no way to locate them making reasonable search efforts, don’t worry…there are ways to present this information to the court and proceed with the adoption.
Termination of a Biological Parent in Adoption
In a stepparent or domestic partner adoption, the court will end the parental rights of your child’s other birth parent. Many times the child’s other birth parent agrees (consents) to the adoption. In some cases, the court will end the other birth parent’s rights anyway even when he or she does not agree. This is very serious, so the court does not want to do it unless the other birth parent knows about the adoption and has a chance to go to court and tell his or her side to the judge. The judge will then decide if the court will end the parental rights or not.
Think about what it would be like if the situation was reversed. You would not want your child’s other parent and his or her new spouse to end your rights as a parent without you knowing about it.
So an important step in your adoption case is to:
- Find the other parent and get a written consent (agreement) to the adoption.
- Get a court order to end the other parent’s parental rights after searching for him or her and
proving to the judge that you tried everything possible to find the other parent or to get him or her to agree (consent) to the adoption.
When the other parent hasn’t contacted or supported the child’s Custodial parents are often worried that the absent parent, who has had little or no contact with the child for an extended period of time, will suddenly return and attempt to gain custody or visitation with the child. This is not grounds to terminate parental rights, except in cases of stepparent or domestic partner adoption. In those types of cases, the court may consider the absent parent’s abandonment or willful failure to support the child,
and terminate parental rights without their consent if the court finds that the parent has willfully abandoned the child.
Amend a Birth Certificate :
If desired, after the adoption is final, the court will mail a specific form to the State Office of Vital Records. On this form, you may request an amended birth certificate that reflects this adoption and amend the child’s family name if needed. It may take several months for the Office of Vital Records to process your amendment.
Adoption of an Adult
These actions are done many times based on a loving relationships that forms over the years between adults, that desire the adoptee to be fully and legally integrated into a family.
Adult adoption is a legal procedure in which an older adult adopts a younger adult. Once an adult adoption is complete, the parties assume toward each other a legal parent-child relationship, with all associated rights and responsibilities of such a relationship, including inheritance rights.
These actions are done many times based on a loving relationships that forms over the years between adults, that desire the adoptee to be fully and legally integrated into a family. Adult adoption cannot be used for Immigration purposes. An adult adoption severs all existing parent child relationships, unless the adopting parent is the adoptee’s stepparent. When a stepparent adopts an adult stepchild, the adopting parent’s spouse retains his/her parent-child relationship with the adoptee. The procedures for adopting an adult in California are found in the California Family Code.
The required documents for an adult adoption are:
- The Adoption Agreement. This document states that the parties agree to assume toward each other the legal relationship of parent and child, and to have all the rights and be subject to all the duties and responsibilities of that relationship.
- The Petition for Approval of Adoption Agreement. This is the formal request that the court approve the Adoption Agreement. This document must provide specific details, including the ages of the parties, the nature and length of their relationship, and the reasons the parties are seeking this adoption. Be clear and specific about why the adoption would be in the best interest of the parties.
- The Order of Adoption. This is the formal court order granting the adoption. Present this at the adoption hearing for the judge to sign.
- Spousal Consent(s). If either party is married, consent of the spouse(s) is required.
Amend a Birth Certificate: If desired, after the adoption is final, the court will mail a specific form to the State Office of Vital Records. On this form, you may request an amended birth certificate that reflects this adoption. It may take several months for the Office of Vital Records to process your amendment.