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Bay Area Family Attorneys > San Francisco Adoption Attorney

San Francisco Adoption Attorney

Adoption is the legal process of establishing a parent-child relationship between a child and a person who is not that child’s biological or birth parent. Under California law, an adoptive parent has the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other parent. And once established, an adoptive parent-child relationship is considered permanent and entitles the child to receive a new birth certificate to include the adopted parent or parents.

The adoption process itself is often overwhelming, especially for first-time adoptive parents. That is why it is best to work with a qualified San Francisco adoption attorney. Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP is a California family law firm that represents clients throughout the Bay Area in adoption proceedings. From explaining the law to representing you before a judge, our team can guide you through the adoption process from start to finish.

What You Need to Know About Adopting a Child in California

Under California law, a minor child can be legally adopted by any adult. The only restriction is that the adult must be at least 10 years older than the child. This restriction does not apply, however, if the prospective adoptive parent is the child’s stepparent, sibling, aunt or uncle, or first cousin. In such cases, a court may approve the adoption even if the 10-year age difference requirement is not met.

The adoption process itself requires the prospective parent or parents to fill out forms that must be reviewed by a California Superior Court judge. California law does not require a specific period of home residency prior to approving an adoption. But the birth parents, if still alive, must be formally notified of the proceedings and consent to the adoption in most cases. The child’s approval is also required if they are at least 12 years old. Other parties, such as the spouse of the adoptive parent, may also need to consent depending on the specific circumstances.

The California Department of Social Services will conduct an interview and investigation–known as a “home study”–as part of the adoption process.

Other common legal issues that arise in San Francisco adoption cases include:

  • Adoptions to Confirm Parentage: When a child is conceived through surrogacy or assisted reproduction, a non-biological parent may still need to go through the adoption process to confirm their status as the child’s legal parent.
  • International Adoption: When the adopted child is born outside of the United States, it may be necessary to complete adoption proceedings in both the foreign country and the State of California.
  • Adult Adoption: It is possible for a parent to adopt a person who is 18 or older. Adult adoption is commonly used to confirm an adult-child relationship for legal purposes such as inheritance rights.

Contact the San Francisco Adoption Attorney Cardwell Steigerwald Young Today

Adoption is usually a joyous time for families. But it also comes with a host of legal obligations and requirements. If you need assistance navigating the process from an experienced San Francisco adoption attorney, call Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today at 415-259-5885 to schedule a consultation.

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