This past August California approved bill AB1373 which amended several family code sections governing adoptions that had been unmodified for some 30 years.
Under existing law, the existing parents of an adopted child are, from the time of the adoption, relieved of all parental duties toward, and have no right over, the adopted child, unless the existing parent or parents and the prospective adoptive parent or parents sign a waiver before the finalization of the adoption. This bill provides that the waiver provision described above applies to all adoptions except intercountry adoptions. This means that parental rights will no longer be severed as an operation of law in most adoptions!
This bill also allows an adult who is being adopted to waive the termination of the legal relationship between the adult and an existing parent or parents by signing a waiver before the finalization of the adoption. This means that as an adult you can be adopted by a de facto mother or father while preserving the rights of your biological or original adoptive parents!
Finally, this bill allows a stepparent adoption in which the child was born during a marriage or domestic partnership, through a gestational surrogacy process to use the same procedure as a stepparent adoption where one of the spouses gave birth to the child.
These are massive changes in the adoption landscape. The San Francisco based lawyers of Jones & Devoy have experience in adoption law and can help you navigate the ever changing waters throughout the bay area. Contact us here.