Santa Barbara Attorney for a Private Adoption in California
If you or a loved one is considering adoption in Santa Barbara, our lawyers may be able to help. Backed by years of experience with California family law, the private adoption lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, can explain the entire process and help you meet the requirements set forth by law.
To discuss your case with one of our independent adoption attorneys, call our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.
Understanding Private Adoption in California
Private adoption is also known as open or independent adoption. During this process, both of a child’s birth parents consent to an adoption with potential adoptive parents. Generally, adoption processes involve the participation of an adoption agency. However, private or independent adoptions are done without the direct involvement of such an agency.
This does not mean that you can freely meet with the birth parents and adopt the child directly, though. The State of California is rigorous when it comes to a child’s welfare and best interests. Therefore, you cannot complete an adoption process without the intervention of an agency dedicated to protecting children, such as the Department of Social Services.
While this procedure does not involve an adoption agency, the overall adoption process can be daunting, especially for new adopting parents. However, you don’t have to go through this process alone. The Santa Barbara private adoption lawyers at Bamieh & De Smeth can guide you through the entire process.
The Independent Adoption Process in California
The independent adoption process requires meeting very specific requirements throughout the proceedings. The process begins once you have found birth parents willing to give up their child for adoption. You need to make sure to call an Adoption Service Provider who will schedule a meeting with the birth parents to go over all the steps involved in the private adoption process. During this meeting, the birth parents have the opportunity to pose any question they may have regarding the adoption and learn all of the options available to them.
Once the meeting has ended, you will likely go through an Adoption Placement Agreement. This is an agreement signed by the birth parents and the adoptive parents to place the child in the adoptive parent’s home. This agreement does not make the child’s placement permanent at first. You must be aware that the Adoption Placement Agreement grants certain protections to the birth parents. For instance, in order for the agreement to become irrevocable, at least 31 days must have passed without the intervention of the birth parents. This means the birth parents have at least 30 days to change their minds and take their child back. As the potential adoptive parent, you have to abide by this rule and understand that if the birth parents want their child back, you will need to acquiesce.
Despite this rule, birth parents have the option to waive their right to reclaim their child. If this happens, a placement agreement may be granted. Once the child is placed in your home, it is time to request a petition for adoption. This petition can be done by completing Form Adopt-200, which asks the petitioners to provide essential information such as their names, address, relationship to the child, type of adoption, and other relevant information. Once completed, you will need to send a copy of the form to California’s Department of Social Services.
Once you have sent the completed paperwork, you will need to go through a process known as a “home study.” During a home study, a social worker will visit your home and make sure that the child is well cared for. This is done to ensure a safe, caring, and nurturing living space for the child. Remember, the state wants to make sure the child’s best interests are covered. This requires a safe living environment, food, education, and all the other essentials things a child may need.
Once the home study has ended, the social worker will render a report containing all of his or her findings. If everything goes well, the court will grant you the adoption. While this sounds like a straightforward process, in reality, it takes preparation, attention to detail, and the strict observation of state law. Our private adoption lawyers can help you understand how everything works and make sure you comply with all requirements.
Santa Barbara Private Adoption Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
Bringing a child into your life should be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Adoption can bring joy and happiness to everyone in your family. However, this process can be frustrating for many potential adoptive parents. You don’t have to face this process on your own, though; the Santa Barbara private adoption lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, can help. To speak to a professional about your private adoption case in a free, private consultation, call our offices today at (805) 643-5555.