What is the Process for Stepparent Adoptions in Orange County?
In stepparent adoption, one biological or legal parent retains custody control of the children, with the stepmother or stepfather of the child seeking to adopt the child.
Stepparent adoption cases are filed in Probate court, not Family Law court. An investigation case file is opened after the initial paperwork has been filed with the court and a Court investigator will be assigned to file a report with the Court withing 90 days following the interview and a visit to the adopting stepparent’s residence.
Children that are at least 4 years of age should be advised by the parent and stepparent that the stepparent is requesting the the Court grant his or her request to adopt the child. The investigator will interview the child regarding his or her understanding of the adoption and what he or she wants. California state law requires that children 12 years and older must give written consent of the adoption.
Upon completion of the investigation and filing of the investigation report with the Court, the next step is to request and obtain a hearing date with the Court. The court will require written proof of the consent of the other parent married to the stepparent, roof of consent (or death) of the other biological parent, and proof of service on the other biological parent before setting a hearing date.
At the adoption hearing, the child to be adopted must be present in Court at the time of the hearing, The hearing is basically a formality for the Court to grant the stepparent adoption that has essentially been pre-approved by the time of the hearing.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.
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