Oxnard Adoption Lawyer
Adoption can be a long process with plenty of hurdles along the way. However, hiring an adoption attorney to guide you through the process can make things much smoother. The Oxnard adoption lawyers at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth represent current and future parents seeking adoptions in California.
Whether you are adopting from California, from out-of-state, or from another country, our lawyers can guide you through the legal process and help you overcome complications and complex laws. For help with your adoption case, contact The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Our attorneys have combined decades of experience handling adoption cases and other family law matters. To schedule a free consultation, call today at (805) 643-5555.
How Long Does Adoption Take in California?
The process for adoption can be very different depending on how the circumstances of the adoption. If you are adopting a child you know, such as a niece or nephew, and you have the parents’ cooperation, things can be much quicker. Filing the proper documents and consents and scheduling your day in court may take some time. In addition, the court may also want to run background checks and other investigations to ensure you are fit parents. After this is completed, you can finalize the adoption relatively quickly.
If you are adopting through an agency or service, things can take longer. These groups often use increased scrutiny to ensure that the children are going to safe, stable homes. They may run more thorough checks, investigate your home for safety and comfort, and run financial checks. The courts also need to be involved to deal with the legal aspects of the case, such as severing parental ties with any current, legal parents (or the adoption agency) and forming your new parental status. This can face significant slow-downs if the agency or legal parents ultimately object to the adoption or second-guess their decisions. Adopting from out of state has the same kinds of slowdowns but may involve longer wait times because of the required travel and cooperation between multiple court systems and offices. This can often take several months or more.
Adopting from another country is often the longest adoption process. Some countries require multiple trips to their country to meet with orphanages or adoption agencies. They may also run their own checks, which can take significantly longer because of the distance and cooperation of different offices (and potential language barriers). In some cases, you may need to travel all the way to the country only to find out that the child has already been adopted, you have been denied your adoption request, or the parents have taken the child back. In some cases, you may need to return later and repeat large parts of the process. This can take several months to over a year.
Legal Issues for Parents Seeking Adoptions in CA
Every adoption case is unique, and many adoption cases have legal complications. While many adoption cases involve parents working with an adoption agency to find their new child, other adoption cases deal with other family members or foster parents officially adopting children in their care. Alternatively, an adoption case may involve a stepparent becoming the legal parent for children they already care for. In any case, there may be complications because of the existing parents’ rights.
At birth, children have two legal parents. In the vast majority of cases, these are the biological parents. However, in cases of IVF, surrogacy, or children conceived in another relationship, the legal parents may be the biological parent’s spouse or the two parents who hired a surrogate. To establish the intended parents as the legal parents may require overcoming some legal hurdles. The same is true for adopting a stepchild.
When a child already has two parents, a third adult cannot adopt the child. To adopt, the existing parent’s parental rights must first be severed. In cases involving willing surrogates or adoption directly after birth, you may have agreements drawn up to help smooth the process along. However, last-minute cold feet or other interference may complicate these negotiations. Especially if someone like the biological father of a child you intend to adopt appears, you may have to fight to sever their parental rights.
Courts are usually only willing to break another parent’s parental rights if there is a serious problem. Drug use, crime, abuse, financial insecurity, or abandonment may all be good reasons for a court to sever a parent’s ties. Once that has happened, you may be free to step in and adopt your child.
Once the biological parents have given up their rights, there may still be complications with their rights under “open” or “closed” adoptions. These could be important to understand in case your child has potential future questions and concerns about their adoption. Talk to an attorney for help with any of these issues.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Oxnard Adoption Attorneys
If you or a loved one is considering adoption in the Oxnard area, contact the Oxnard adoption attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today at (805) 643-5555. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients with family law problems and other legal matters, and we may be able to help you, too.