Compassionate Vallejo Law Firm Assists with Adoptions
Personal attention to every aspect of your case
If you have decided to welcome a child into your home through adoption or simply to formalize your parent-child relationship, Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC is prepared to help. Since 1973 our firm has been dedicated to providing excellent legal services in Vallejo and throughout the North Bay. Our highly professional and ethical attorneys provide representation for agency adoptions, open adoptions, international adoptions, foster child adoptions, stepparent adoptions, single-parent adoptions, same-sex couple adoptions, and grandparent adoptions. Adopting a child should be an occasion of great joy, but too often legal impediments can cause frustration and disappointment. Our attentive and responsive attorneys keep the process on track for you so you can have confidence.
Legal requirements to adopt in California
An adoptive parent must be at least 18 years old and be able to provide a residence for the child. Single people may adopt. With the exception of stepparents or relatives, a person who wants to adopt a minor must be at least 10 years older than the child. All hopeful parents must complete a home study, which includes a criminal background check, before the state can grant approval of the adoption.
Steps in the California adoption process
Most adoptions in California require certain steps:
- Filing an adoption petition — There are several forms you must fill out and file with the clerk of the court in the county where you reside. There is a filing fee.
- Resolution of rights with birth parents — What you must do (and when) depends on the type of adoption, whether the birth parents consent or whether their rights to the child have been terminated.
- Preparation for home study — Every adult member of the household must submit fingerprints and have a physical exam.
- Adoption training — You must complete a series of classes designed to prepare you to welcome a child into your home.
- Social worker interviews — A licensed social worker interviews all members of your household.
- In-home visit and investigation — A licensed social worker visits your home and investigates the living situation.
- Completion and approval of home study — The social worker submits a home study report. The court can deny adoption on the basis of the home study if placement would not be in the best interest of the child.
- Completion of post-placement supervision — If initial placement of the child in the home is approved, there is still six months of post-placement supervision before the court can give final approval to the adoption. Once the adoption receives final approval, the adoptive parents have the same full legal and physical child custody as do natural parents.
Parents who adopt children internationally are required to “re-adopt” their children in the United States, according to state laws.
The adoption process can be unnerving, especially when expectations are high and you meet with an unexpected disappointment. By working with our family law attorneys, you can better understand the process and know you have a capable advocate watching out for your interests.
To be confident in your adoption process, call our family law attorneys in Vallejo
At Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC, we strive to provide adoptive parents with the highest levels of personal attention and professionalism. To learn more about how our law firm can facilitate your adoption, call us today at 707-674-6057 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.