Aliso Viejo Adoption Lawyer

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Aliso Viejo Adoption Attorney

Adoption can be a life-changing experience for any family in Aliso Viejo. When most people think of adoption, they typically imagine parents who cannot have biological children of their own or do not wish to do so taking in a child from other parents who cannot meet the child’s needs or who are unwilling to care for the child. While some adoption cases track along these lines, there are many other types of adoptions that unfold through the Aliso Viejo family court system.

Helping Parents With the Adoption Process in Aliso Viejo, CA

If you are preparing to adopt in Aliso Viejo, an adoption attorney is a valuable resource to consult. While legal counsel may not be strictly required for the adoption process, an attorney you can trust can provide valuable insights and guidance as the case unfolds. They can help you prepare for each new phase of the process and help you prepare for each step with confidence.

The team at Cianci Law, PC has years of experience helping Aliso Viejo clients with all types of family law matters, including adoptions. We know the various challenges you could encounter in the adoption process and the questions you are likely to have as the case progresses. Attorney Melissa Cianci is a Certified Family Law Specialist capable of providing comprehensive legal support through every step of your adoption case in Aliso Viejo.

What Is the Point of Adoption?

Adoption formally establishes parental rights for a child or a disabled adult. While this may sound like little more than a technicality, a formalized adoption provides the adopted individual with several important rights and legal protections. For example, if a child is adopted they will have the same legal right to inherit their parent’s property through estate administration as a biological child would. They will also have the right to pursue legal action on behalf of their adopted parent, such as a wrongful death suit if another party causes their adoptive parent’s death.

If you plan to adopt, or if you are unsure whether adoption is a viable option for your mixed family in Aliso Viejo, an experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and answers to your questions. Cianci Law, PC takes time to get to know each of our clients in Aliso Viejo, developing cohesive legal strategies that aim to help them meet their goals in whatever type of case is ahead of them.

Types of Adoption

Adoption can unfold in many different ways in the Aliso Viejo family court. At Cianci Law, PC, our team has successfully assisted many clients with all types of adoptions, and we are fully prepared to address the unique issues your case may present. A few examples of the types of adoption cases our firm handles for our clients include:

  • Independent adoption. Also called open adoption, this type of adoption involves direct communication between adoptive parents and biological parents. The state allows independent adoptions, and it is generally advisable for the parties involved to have a legal professional act as a go-between to ensure the process unfolds properly.
  • Agency adoption. This form of adoption unfolds through an adoption agency. These agencies are often required to care for children who have been abused, abandoned, orphaned, or who have been deemed wards of the state. The adoptive parents coordinate with the agency to place a child in their custody.
  • International adoption. This involves an adoption of a child born overseas through an international adoption agency. This is a more complex and expensive adoption, and it is advisable to have an experienced attorney assist you if you plan to pursue international adoption.
  • Adoption through identification. This is essentially a combination of independent and agency adoption. The adoptive and biological parents find each other independently and then have an adoption agency formalize the adoption.
  • Stepparent adoption. This is one of the most common types of adoption in the state. If a custodial parent remarries and their new partner is willing to assume parental responsibility for their children, the stepparent can adopt the child as long as the other biological parent has lost their parental rights or willingly relinquishes any custody rights they still have.
  • Adult adoption. It is possible to complete the adoption process for a disabled adult, establishing custody rights so you can ensure their needs are met. This type of adoption typically requires a more extensive home study to ensure the disabled adult’s needs are met and the adoptive parent is capable of handling the adopted adult’s condition.

Whatever type of adoption you plan to pursue in Aliso Viejo, you will have a much easier time completing the process if you have an experienced attorney assisting you. Your attorney can help gather all the documentation you may need to submit to the court to complete the process, prepare you for the home study your case may require, and provide ongoing support through each phase of the adoption case.

What Does the Adoption Process Require in Aliso Viejo?

An adoption case may involve domestic, stepparent, or grandparent adoption, the adoptive parents may need to ensure termination of parental rights for the adopted child’s biological parents, and the process may involve several court hearings. An adoption can only move forward if one or both of the child’s biological parents have lost their parental rights for some reason or they are willing to surrender those rights for the child’s interests. The court will then need to ensure the proposed adoption suits the child’s interests. One of the most important parts of most adoption cases is the home study.

The court will order a home study to ensure the proposed adoption would suit the interests of the child. After submitting your application for adoption to the Aliso Viejo family court, a social worker will be assigned to the case, and they will visit the adoptive parent’s home to conduct the home study. This process is multifaceted and may be completed in one or more visits. A few elements of the home study include:

  • Background checks. Anyone who intends to adopt a child must complete the background check process. The court is unlikely to allow an adoption if the adoptive parent has a criminal record, especially if past convictions related to child abuse of any kind, domestic violence, or felony offenses.
  • Paperwork. Adoptive parents will need to complete a great deal of paperwork covering their tax records, birth certificates and other personal records, and more. The social worker typically guides the parents through completion of their paperwork and securing any documentation they need to submit to the court.
  • Interview. The social worker will want to discuss various topics with the adoptive parents, including their values, views on parenting, plans for the future, life story, and more.
  • Adoption education. Adoptive parents may be required to complete specific courses related to raising a child from a different culture or ethnicity, handling developmental issues, implementing effective discipline strategies, and more.
  • Home inspection. The social worker will need to inspect the adoptive parents’ home to ensure the adopted child will have appropriate living space in a clean and safe environment.

The home study process may seem daunting, but your Aliso Viejo adoption attorney can prepare for you for this step of the adoption case. Preparation can ensure that lost documentation and other procedural issues do not delay the adoption’s progress. When you have legal counsel you can trust, you will also be prepared to respond to any disputes raised against the adoption.

Contested Adoption

It is possible for a child’s biological parent to contest an adoption under certain circumstances. However, the decision as to whether the adoption can proceed ultimately rests in the hands of the family court judge reviewing the case. If a parent has lost their parental rights involuntarily, they are likely unable to contest the adoption. If a biological parent is paying child support and still has contact with their child, an adoption may only proceed if they were to voluntarily relinquish their parental rights. The court will only allow this if the adoptive parent is willing to assume parental financial responsibility for the child.

Benefits of Adoption in Aliso Viejo

Adoption can be a daunting and complex legal process, but the results are well worth the effort. When you choose Cianci Law, PC to represent you in your adoption case, we can streamline your proceedings and help secure the adoption rights you hope to attain. When you adopt a child, you are essentially empowering them with the same legal protections as a biological child.

Adoption can help the adopted child feel like more of a part of their family and blend a mixed family more cohesively. As far as the adopted child’s rights are concerned, they will hold the same position for the purposes of intestate succession when their parent passes away, meaning they have the right to inherit property from their parent’s estate. They would also have the right to pursue legal action in the same capacity as a biological child could.

How Your Aliso Viejo Adoption Attorney Can Help With Your Case

The team at Cianci Law, PC strives to help our clients pursuing adoption in Aliso Viejo complete the process as efficiently as possible. We know you are likely to have many questions about the process, and even if your case seems perfectly straightforward you could encounter various legal challenges you will not know how to address alone.

Our team has years of professional experience handling all types of adoption cases in the Aliso Viejo area. You can rely on our firm for:

  • Explaining the legal and financial issues involved in intrastate, interstate, or international adoption. Adoption can be a very expensive process, and your attorney can help understand the full range of financial obligations you could face.
  • Completing all necessary paperwork correctly and meeting all filing deadlines with the family court. If you attempt to complete your adoption application on your own, any clerical errors with your paperwork could cause significant delays in the processing of your case. Your attorney can ensure all your paperwork is completed correctly so no such issues interfere with your adoption case.
  • Preparing for background checks, home studies, and interviews required for your adoption process. Home study is arguably the most important part of the adoption review process. Your attorney can offer tips and guidance to effectively prepare and make a positive impression on the social worker assigned to your case.
  • Preparing for all courtroom hearings, including the finalization hearing to complete the adoption process. It can be daunting to enter the courtroom, and your attorney can support and prepare you, so you know what to expect in each hearing before a family court judge.
  • Explaining the legal issues involved with grandparent or kinship adoptions, including any custody issues that pertain to extended family members. Some adoption cases are inherently complex, especially if a biological grandparent wants to maintain a relationship with the adopted grandchild but the parent has lost their custody rights. Your attorney can help you understand the implications of any such issues.
  • LGBT and same-sex parent adoption cases.
  • Contested adoptions, including disputes filed by biological parents and cases involving terminated parental rights.
  • Mediation with adoption agencies within California, other states, or abroad.

Cianci Law, PC believes in client-focused legal representation in every family law case we accept in Aliso Viejo. We know that your adoption case is unique and there are no one-size-fits-all strategies for navigating an adoption successfully. While some cases are inherently more complex than others, you can rely on our firm to provide consistent support through every stage of your case, and we can be readily available to address all unexpected complications that arise.

If you are concerned about the potential cost of hiring an Aliso Viejo adoption attorney, you can rest assured that our firm is transparent with our billing policy and will explain your financial obligations so there are no surprises concerning the cost of our representation. We aim for maximum efficiency and will make the most of every hour we spend working on your adoption case so you can complete the process with minimal legal expenses.

Our team is standing by to assist you with your adoption case in Aliso Viejo. Contact Cianci Law, PC today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Aliso Viejo adoption attorney and find out how we can assist you with this complicated but rewarding process.

Practice Areas



Child Custody& Support



Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Family Law

Family Law

Property Division




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