In California one can have at most two parents. This means that, for most step-parent adoptions to go through, one of the biological parents’ parental rights must be terminated. There are multiple ways to terminate parental rights depending on the exact circumstances (for example whether a father is a presumed or alleged father).
California Family Code Family Code Section 7820 provides that a prospective adoptive parent may file a petition to terminate parental rights so that the adoption may take place. A petition to terminate parental rights under 7820 can occur for multiple reasons such as: child abandonment or mental disability. When bringing a petition of this nature however it is important to know that California courts have determined that parents whose rights are to be terminated can be given a free lawyer. So, such petitions must be filed with care.
The complexity of terminating parental rights puts extra emphasis on the importance of properly conceiving through artificial insemination in California. California Family Code 7613 provides for a way for a child, who is conceived through artificial insemination, to have only one parent upon birth. This substantially shortens and simplifies the process for a step-parent adoptions, and so, should be considered whenever possible.
From Sonoma to San Jose the San Francisco based bay area attorneys of Jones & Devoy have experience in all aspects of adoption and family law including Petitions to terminate parental rights. They can not only help you avoid possible pit falls, but, can provide sound advice on the best way to meet problems that are already present.