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Adoption Attorneys in Murrieta

Guiding San Diego Residents through Life’s Big Moments

Adoption a Child With Professional HelpChoosing to adopt a child is an Life is full of important decisions. The decision to adopt a child is among the most important life choices you could ever make. Our adoption attorneys, Michelle Penna and Laurie Coker, can guide you through the adoption process with kindness and compassion. At Penna Coker A Family Law Firm APLC, we focus exclusively on the practice of family law to help families achieve their goals and dreams.

If adoption is a part of your future plans, call our experienced family attorneys today at (951) 900-3342 or contact us online. We serve clients in Murrieta, Menifee, Temecula, San Diego, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, and the surrounding areas.

California Adoption Requirements

An adoption may be a step-parent adoption, which may involve a non-genetic father and/or mother, or an independent adoption, which may involve a non-relative or a relative but not necessarily a step-parent. In either type of adoption, an investigation through the county occurs.

Here are the some of the requirements for adoption in California (Family Code §§ 8600; 8601; 9000; 9326):

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are at least 10 years older than the child
  • You are the stepparent of your spouse's child, or you are the domestic partner of your domestic partner's child
  • You are a provider of board and care, treatment, and shelter for those with developmental disabilities for a spouse or an employee of a provider
  • You are either single or a married couple who is eligible to adopt
  • If adopting an older child, the child is at least 12 years old and has consented to the adoption

If the biological parent(s) consents, the process is much easier. If they do not consent, then a parental rights termination hearing is set. If the biological parents are indigent, they are appointed an attorney to represent them. Children 12 years and older may give their consent, which will be given weight by the court in the proceeding.

With respect to an independent adoption, if the parental rights of the biological parents are terminated, a second investigation occurs through the State of California Health and Human Services Agency. A follow-up report is generated after the parental rights are terminated, even in a step-parent adoption. Once those final reports are completed, a request to set an Adoption Hearing is filed to obtain the final adoption orders. If contested, adoptions can be a lengthy process.

How Can an Adoption Attorney Help Me?

An adoption attorney plays a crucial role in facilitating the legal aspects of the adoption process. Here are several ways in which an adoption attorney can help you:

  • Understanding Adoption Laws: Adoption laws vary widely by jurisdiction, and they can be complex. An adoption attorney can help you understand the specific laws that apply to your situation, ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements.
  • Guidance on Adoption Types: There are different types of adoptions, including domestic adoptions, international adoptions, agency adoptions, and independent adoptions. An adoption attorney can guide you through the options available to you and help you choose the path that best suits your needs.
  • Legal Representation: An adoption attorney can provide legal representation throughout the entire adoption process. This includes preparing and filing legal documents, representing you in court if necessary, and ensuring that all legal requirements are met.
  • Consent and Termination of Parental Rights: In many cases, the birth parents' consent is required for an adoption to proceed. An adoption attorney can help you understand the legal requirements for obtaining consent and can guide you through the process of terminating parental rights if necessary.
  • Interstate and International Adoptions: If you are considering adopting a child from another state or country, additional legal complexities may arise. An adoption attorney can help navigate the laws and regulations involved in interstate and international adoptions.
  • Adoption Finalization: Finalizing an adoption involves a court hearing, and an adoption attorney can represent you during this process. They will ensure that all necessary documents are in order and that the adoption is legally recognized.
  • Post-Adoption Issues: Sometimes, legal issues may arise after the adoption is finalized. An adoption attorney can assist with post-adoption matters, such as obtaining updated birth certificates, handling any challenges that may arise, and providing guidance on issues like open adoption agreements.
  • Contested Adoptions: In some cases, adoptions may be contested by birth parents or other parties. An adoption attorney can provide legal representation and support in contested adoption cases.
  • Legal Advice and Support: Throughout the entire adoption process, an adoption attorney can provide legal advice and support, answering any questions you may have and ensuring that you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities.

It's important to choose an experienced adoption attorney who specializes in family law and adoption cases to ensure that you receive the most accurate and effective legal guidance throughout the adoption process.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Adoption

Should you ever have any questions and need to navigate through the adoption process, your attorney should be your first go-to. We have a thorough understanding on the laws and can apply that knowledge specifically to your case, whether you have a stepparent adoption or a private adoption. An adoption attorney can also help prepare you for any court hearings as well as by being your representative in court should any issues arise.

Our Murrieta adoption attorneys have dedicated their practice exclusively to the area of family law because we understand that there is no substitute for hands-on experience. We are professional and compassionate, yet aggressive when necessary. Contact Penna Coker A Family Law Firm APLC for help navigating the legal complexities of adoption.

For compassionate and dedicated legal representation in cases of adoption or other family matters, call (951) 900-3342 or contact us online.

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