San Clemente Adoption Lawyer

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San Clemente Adoption Attorney

Adoption is a way for families to strengthen their ties or add and raise new children. Although this is a beautiful process for children and prospective parents alike, it can also be a very complicated process. There are several different types of adoption, and it can be hard to determine what steps you must take. Fortunately, the adoption process can be made easier with a San Clemente adoption lawyer guiding you through it.

San Clemente Adoption Lawyer

Work With Skilled Adoption Attorneys

At Cianci Law, PC, our attorneys have worked for years in many areas of family law. We have experience in many types of adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, same-sex couple adoptions, and single-parent adoptions. We understand how important this is for you and your family, so we treat your situation with the personalized care and attention you deserve.

Eligibility Requirements to Adopt in San Clemente

For a person to be eligible to adopt in San Clemente, CA, they must be a minimum of 10 years older than the child they wish to adopt. This requirement does not apply when:

  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s sibling, stepparent, aunt, or uncle, or they are the spouse or registered domestic partner of one of these relatives.
  • The court has determined that the adoption is in the child’s interests.

If the child being adopted is 12 years old or older, their consent is required before they can be adopted. If the prospective parent is married or in a registered domestic partnership, the consent of their spouse or domestic partner is required for an adoption. Prospective adoptive parents must also meet certain requirements, including a home study and a background check.

Types of Adoption

There are different types of adoption, and the classification is determined by whether the adoption is through any state or private agency, the age of the child, and the relationship between the child and the adoptive parent.

Stepparent Adoption

A stepparent adoption occurs when the spouse or registered domestic partner of a child’s legal parent adopts their child. This can help bring a family closer together and provide a stepparent with legal parental rights to a child. Often, this is one of the simpler forms of adoption.

In a stepparent adoption, the child’s other and non-custodial legal parent will have their parental rights terminated. Typically, the other parent will need to give their consent for this, but there are situations where the adoption can be completed without their permission.

Adoption to Confirm Parentage

This form of adoption enables parents who are married or are in a domestic partnership to go through a simplified process to adopt any children they conceived through gestational surrogacy or assisted reproduction. This helps both parents have legal and protected rights to their child.

Agency Adoption

This is when an adoption is managed by a private licensed adoption agency or by the California Department of Social Services. In these adoptions, the birth parents of a child have their parental rights terminated.

Private agencies may manage several types of adoptions, including domestic and international adoptions. State agencies handle adoptions through the foster care system and children who are wards of the state.

Independent Adoption

Independent adoptions are those that do not involve a private agency or the state adoption agency. Instead, there is direct communication between the birth parents of a child and the parents who are going to adopt the child. If both sets of parents agree, the parental rights of the birth parents do not have to be terminated in this situation.

International Adoption

These adoptions occur when a parent adopts a child who is from another country. This process is typically much more expensive and takes much longer than other types of adoptions. Even if the adoption was finalized in another country, there are steps that adoptive parents must take to finalize the process in California.

Adult Adoption

An adult adoption occurs when the individual being adopted is 18 years of age or older. The prospective parent must be older than the adult being adopted. The adoption also requires the consent of the adult.


Q: How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child in California?

A: The costs of an adoption in California range significantly, depending on the type of adoption. Adoptions through a private agency can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $70,000. Each agency will have its own costs and fees, which may include:

  • The cost of a home inspection
  • Medical expenses for the birth parent and child
  • Legal fees
  • Travel costs
  • Counseling and support

Adoption costs through the foster system in California may be between $50 and $300, although these expenses may be reimbursable. The low cost of an adoption does not, of course, factor in the costs of raising a child.

Q: What Will Disqualify You From Adopting a Child in California?

A: Each adoption agency will have its own unique requirements for adoption and, therefore, its own determinations for disqualification. In California, an adopting person must be at least 10 years older than the child or adult they are adopting unless they are related by blood or marriage.

One of the steps in adoption for prospective parents is a background check. A criminal history will not automatically disqualify an individual from adopting, but it may affect the process. An individual with a criminal record must obtain a waiver to be considered.

Q: Is There a Waiting Period for Adoption in California?

A: There is no legally required waiting period for adoption in California. However, there may be other waiting periods, depending on several factors. This includes the adoption agency you work with, how quickly they are able to manage adoptions, and the requirements you must complete prior to adopting. In non-agency adoptions, it also takes time to complete training, home studies, and background checks before you or your family can be approved for adoption. If there are any legal complications, these may extend the waiting period.

Q: Does California Pay Adoptive Parents?

A: The Adoptive Assistance Program (AAP) exists to provide for the financial needs of children who are adopted from the foster system. It is not meant to pay the adoptive parents. Instead, the goal is to incentivize foster parents to care for children in a stable and long-term home. There are many different ways that these benefits may help, such as reimbursement for one-time adoption fees, healthcare coverage costs, and monthly payments.

Contact Cianci Law, PC

The experienced team at Cianci Law, PC, can help you navigate the adoption process and minimize issues, enabling you to focus on the joys of adopting. Contact our team today.

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