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Stepparent & Adult Adoption Lawyer in Irvine

Helping to Bring Families Together

With divorces, second marriages, adoptions, combined families, and other alternative family circumstances, there is no such thing as perfect family formula in today’s society. However, finding someone that you want to be a part of your particular family formula, both emotionally and legally, is a very special thing. Adoption makes it easier to legally add either a child or a parent to your life.

When most people hear the word ‘adoption’ they think of a parent-less child being adopted into a new family. Stepparent adoptions and adult adoptions don’t fit into this traditional idea, but they do play an integral part in crafting families. Our Irvine adoption attorney shares what you should know about these two different forms of adoption and explains the steps in which they can be completed.

Call to schedule a consultation with our firm.

About Stepparent Adoptions

This form of adoption is one of the most common types and is usually very simple to process, since one of the child’s birth parents remains or is still a legal parent. In order to file for this type of adoption, the stepparent must be legally married or be a domestic partner to the legal parent.

There are a couple of important steps in the stepparent adoption process:

Fill out the forms. There are multiple forms that need to be completed, including:

These forms can be downloaded at the Judicial Council website by selecting “Adoptions” in the dropdown box and clicking “See Forms.”

Get consent from the parent. You must get the permission of the parent giving up their rights. If the parent has passed, this step is not relevant, but if the parent is still alive this step is vital. If the child is under 18 years old, you must get consent from the mother or the father if he:

  • Was married to the mother while the child was conceived
  • Previously adopted the child
  • Was established as the father by the court

Consent is not always necessary in the case of a stepparent adoption when the legal parent has abandoned their child, been deemed incapacitated, or had their rights removed.

Work with Social Services. You will need to mail your Information Sheet and Questionnaire to Social Services and schedule a home visit. During this time there will be an investigation as well as an interview with the child being adopted.

Go to your hearing. The stepparent and the child must attend the Adoption Hearing. You will need to bring the original and two copies of these forms:

  • Adoption Agreement form
  • Order of Adoption form

After the hearing you need to file the papers at the Probate Department. You can pick up copies of the certified Order of Adoption by asking the clerk.

Adult Adoption Process

An adult adoption creates a legal relationship that did not previously exist between two adult parties. Under law, a relationship of “child and parent” is created. There are numerous reasons in which an individual might wish to legally adopt an adult, including establishing inheritance, supporting the adoptee through insurance, and formalizing family relationships. Since no investigation is required, this adoption process is typically completed within a month or two.

There are four documents that need to be filled during an adult adoption:

  1. Petition – This is filled out by the adoptive parent and requires information like names, addresses, how long the petitioners have known each other, and why they desire the adoption to take place.
  2. Adoption Agreement – This is a legal agreement between the adoptive child and the adopting parent. This document establishes that both parties agree to a legal relationship.
  3. Consents – Since the adoptive child is an adult, consent from his or her legal parents is not necessary for this adoption. Instead, both the child and parent of the adopting process, plus their spouses, must give consent. If the adoptive child is not married, they must file a Declaration of Single Status.
  4. Order of Adoption – This form is the official adoption form that you will bring to the Adoption Hearing and contains all the information that is in the Petition.

At the Adoption Hearing, both the adoptive child and the adopting parent must be present. An amended birth certificate will be mailed after the hearing.

Contact the Center for Mediated Divorce for Help

Our firm is experienced with handling complex forms of adoption. If you and your family are struggling to achieve the legal confirmation you need or if you would like to begin your adoption case today, call (714) 973-7917 and schedule a consultation.

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