Types of California Adoptions: Introduction

Adoption is the legal process by which an adult obtains permanent parental rights of a minor child. There are different types of adoptions, including but not limited to, agency adoption, independent adoption, and step-parent adoption.

Agency Adoption:

In agency adoptions, a licensed public or private adoption agency handles the adoption of the child. The agency must be licensed by the State of California. The adoption agency becomes legally responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child once the birth parents relinquish their parental rights. Court orders or the filing of a relinquishment terminates parental rights. The adoption agency then sifts through applicants and approves adoptive parents before placing a child in their home. The placement of the child in the home is supervised for six or more months before the court approves the adoption.

Independent Adoption:

An independent adoption does not involve a third party agency. The birth parents directly choose the adoptive parents and place the child with the adoptive parents. Independent adoptions are usually arranged by an attorney because several legal requirements must be met: the birth parent(s) must have personal knowledge of facts about the adopting parents; the birth parents must receive an advisement of rights, responsibilities and adoptions from an Adoption Services provided, and the birth parents must sign an Independent Adoption Placement Agreement.

Step-Parent Adoption

A step-parent adoption is the adoption of a child who is the legal child of one’s spouse. A six month evaluation is usually required before the adoption can be finalized. A county employee does this evaluation. Both the parent retaining the parental rights and the parent giving up their rights must consent to the new parent assuming parental responsibilities.

Mach Law has extensive experience is assisting families with adoptions. They are here to ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied and your rights as the birth or adoptive parents are protected. Please call for additional information or a consultation.

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