Adoption is a happy and memorable moment when a new family member legally becomes part of a loving home. The process necessary to achieve this result can vary greatly depending on the nature and circumstances of the adoption. In California there are five different kinds of adoption:
- Stepparent or domestic partner adoptions.
- Inter country adoptions.
- Independent adoptions
- Agency adoptions; and
- Adult adoptions.
Each of these kinds of adoptions has its own rules and procedures. For example, in adult adoptions (where both the adopting parent and adoptee are eighteen or over) notice of an adoption hearing generally does not have to be given to anyone else unless there are special circumstances, such as the adoptee has a developmental disability. Other adoptions such as stepparent adoptions of a minor (where the adopting parent is married to the one of the biological parents of the child), require that the parental rights of the other biological parent be terminated before the adoption can occur.
Moreover, the adoption process can have different rules or procedures for same sex or LGBT couples. For example, the method by which a gay or lesbian couple chooses to conceive a child can end up having profound legal consequences as to who is considered to be the natural parents of the child. In addition, in many instances where an adoption of a child might be preferred, sometimes other alternatives, such as a guardianship, are more likely to be legally achievable goals and so should be carefully considered.
Whatever your situation understanding the law and the process surrounding the adoption you are contemplating is critical from the outset. The San Francisco based bay area attorneys of Jones & Devoy have experience with the adoption process and can help you and your family decide which route is best for you.