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Adoption Lawyer Serving Contra Costa County

If you are interested in adopting a child, or have encountered legal roadblocks in the adoption process, this page is for you. In Lafayette and Contra Costa County, adoption proceedings can be expensive, quite lengthy, and emotionally-draining. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of an experienced adoption lawyer in Lafayette and Contra Costa County. 

Overview of Adoption Proceedings in California

Generally, the adoption process is composed of two separate legal proceedings. First, there is the creation of a legal parent-and-child relationship between the child and the non-biological parent. Second, there is a process for terminating the legal rights of one or more biological-birth parents. The termination of parental rights usually presents the most difficulty in adoption proceedings.

California has a series of rules in place that involve who must give consent and what can be done without consent. Termination of parental rights should be done with consent. Most states, including California, will not terminate parental rights without serious consideration. 

Overview of Adoption Consent Rules

Here is an overview of important adoption consent rules that must be followed when filing adoption documents in a Contra Costa County courthouse. 

  • In California, when a child is over the age of 12, the child must agree to the adoption process.
  • If the adoptive parent is married, and not legally separated from their spouse, the spouse must also agree to the adoption.
  • In direct adoptions, a birth mother cannot give consent until after she has been released from the hospital where she gave birth.
  • If a birth parent is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate will be needed.
  • If a birth parent cannot be found, sufficient steps need to be taken to prove that a reasonable attempt was made. Accurate records of all attempts to find a missing birth parent must be retained. 
  • If the biological parent is unknown, or does not admit to paternity, consent may not be required. 

Termination of Parental Rights

In California, a court in Contra Costa County, has the authority to terminate parental rights without consent when the court determines the parent or parents have abandoned the child. Generally, abandonment is found when a biological-birth parent has had a complete lack of contact for over one year. It is also worth pointing out that if a birth parent was properly served with request forms, but fails to show up for the court appointment to dispute consent, then consent is implied.

Have Questions about the Rules and Regulations Governing Adoption in Contra Costa County? Contact The Geller Firm Today

If you have questions related to the laws and guidelines governing adoption in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and the rest of Contra Costa County, California, taking action today by contacting The Geller Firm. Our team of experienced and respected Lafayette adoption attorneys are here to help. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and are proud to provide legal services in Lafayette and Contra Costa County, along with San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Pleasanton. Our legal team is available for virtual and in-person consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.