Santa Barbara Adoption Attorney

Adoption is a wonderful way for a Santa Barbara couple or individual to grow their family while opening their home to a child in need. Unfortunately, the adoption process can be intimidating and people might not know where to begin. Having the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney will help you through the process while avoiding mistakes that could delay bringing a child into your home.

Our Santa Barbara adoption attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, provide professional and compassionate representation for those seeking to expand their family through the adoption process. We understand that every situation is different and tailor our services to your needs. If you are considering adoption, call (805) 643-5555 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the process in detail.

Adoption Laws in Santa Barbara, CA

In Santa Barbara, adoption is the process that creates a legal relationship between a parent and a child when the parent is not the child’s “birth” or “biological” parent. Once the adoption process is complete, the adoptive parent has all the legal responsibilities, obligations, and rights of a biological parent. Under California law, the new relationship is permanent, and the adoptive family will be treated the same as a birth family.

How Can I Adopt a Child in Santa Barbara?

Adoption is often a complicated legal process. The requirements and exact procedure will depend on the facts of your case and the type of adoption sought. Below are some of the most common types of adoptions that take place in Santa Barbara.

Step-Parent Adoption

Often, a parent will remarry and the new spouse will want to adopt their children. Under California law, a step-parent is permitted to adopt their new spouse’s children. This type of adoption is the most common in Santa Barbara and typically presents the least legal challenge when both birth parents are on-board with the adoption.

Grandparent or Close Relative Adoption

Every family situation is different. In some cases, either because of the death of a parent or other issues, a grandparent or close relative will seek to adopt a child. Depending on the circumstances, these types of adoptions could become complicated.

Agency Adoption

Many parents turn to adoption agencies to facilitate an adoption. Even when working with a qualified agency, it is still a prudent idea to have experienced legal representation.

Private Placement Adoption

In some situations, a birth mother will work directly with the adoptive parents. It is crucial to have our Santa Barbara adoption attorney working alongside you and your family to ensure the process adheres to all the rules and regulations.

International Adoption

It is not uncommon for adoptive parents to want to adopt a child from another country. International adoption adds layers of complexity and procedural hurdles. Our law office has the attorneys and staff to facilitate an international adoption.

Foster Care Adoption

Many Santa Barbara residents give their time and resources to fostering children. Often, a foster parent wants to make their temporary relationship permanent. Our office provides assistance to foster parents looking to adopt.

Santa Barbara Adoption Rules and Regulations

While there are many types of adoptions available in California, there are some basic rules and regulations that apply to most cases. It is essential to consult with our Santa Barbara adoption lawyer to ensure you have accurate information if you are considering adopting a child.

Under California law, a prospective parent must be at least ten years older than the adoptive child. Additionally, consent is required for children over the age of twelve. Subject to specific qualifications, any married couple or single adult might be eligible to adopt a child.

As part of the adoption process, a prospective parent will need to undergo a home study. In a home study, the adoptive parents must agree to be fingerprinted and submit to a criminal background check. Additionally, an adoptive parent will need a complete physical examination by an authorized doctor.

California law requires you to attend special training courses before you can adopt a child. A social worker will be assigned to conduct individual interviews with prospective parents. This process also includes a home visit and investigation by the social worker.

The purpose of these protocols is to ensure that adoptive parents can provide a safe and caring home for the child. Furthermore, the home study allows the social worker to understand the family’s situation and put together a comprehensive adoption plan. The goal is to provide an adoptive family with the support and guidance necessary to complete the process. Our knowledgeable attorneys will work with you to make the process as informative as possible while fighting unnecessary intrusions.

The home study is an opportunity to help prospective parents understand the process – it is not supposed to scare or intimidate. However, there are various reasons why an adoption would not be approved after completing a home study. For example, if an adult living in the home was convicted of a felony involving child abuse, domestic violence, or any type of sexual assault, the adoption would be denied. By having our office represent you, we will help take steps to move your process forward and work to mitigate potential problems.

Call Our Santa Barbara Adoption Attorney to Discuss Expanding Your Family

There are few moments for a lawyer as joyous as when they finalize an adoption. At the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, our Santa Barbara and Ventura family law attorneys and staff are committed to providing prospective adoptive parents the professional representation they need to ensure a smooth process. Adoption is still a legal process that includes many potential hurdles. Our law office is dedicated to helping people through the adoption maze. Call (805) 643-5555 to schedule a free consultation.

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