How do I adopt a child in California?

Most people who are considering adoption are just trying to do the right thing and give a child in need of a family a loving and supportive home. Legally speaking, however, an adoption has the potential to be a tricky process. Whether it is preparing for a home inspection from the Department of Social Services or making a determination as to whether a biological parent is a “presumed” or “alleged” father, being prepared for all eventualities can be difficult.

In some, cases where a biological parent is unwilling to care for a child but also unwilling let their child be adopted, then various motions and even a trial may be necessary to terminate that biological parent’s rights. Scenarios like this are to be avoided whenever possible. This is why it usually a good idea to speak to an attorney before attempting an adoption: certain kinds of legal maneuvering now, can save one from having to go through difficulties like this later on in the process. That is why knowing the different kinds of adoptions in California, and being properly advised on the pros and cons of each, is so critical from the begining of an adoption.

In California there are five kinds of adoptions: Stepparent or domestic partner adoptions, Inter Country adoptions, Independent adoptions, Agency adoptions, and Adult adoptions. Each type is fairly unique and entail a different amount of complexity and need for an attorney. For instance, in Independent or Adult adoptions, having an attonrey on hand usually much more critcal than Agency adoptions.  The bottom line is that even if you are just trying to do the right thing and give a beautiful child a home through adoption, legal pitfalls can ruin even the best of intentions.

So, unfortunately, the answer to “how do I adopt” does not have an easy answer. If you are thinking about adopting our San Francisco based Bay Area Firm offers a free initial consultation to let you know if an attorney is right for your particular case, or even if adoption is your best option. For example, in many cases either an attorney is innappropraite or alternative means such as legal guardianship are preferable. Either way, our Bay Area attorneys offer a free consultaiton in all adoption matters.