The process of growing your family through adoption can be rewarding and meaningful to everyone involved. However, adoption is also a very complicated legal process.
Missing important steps, forgetting deadlines, or otherwise making simple mistakes could set back your adoption timeline.
Working with an experienced adoption attorney in Orange County can help you bring your new child into your family as quickly as possible. Start your search for the right lawyer with our list of Orange County law firms below.
Helpful Information About Choosing an Orange County Adoption Lawyer
- You can research the Bar license status, suspensions or reprimands of an attorney at the California Bar Association website.
- The California Bar Association offers a “Specialist” certification for family attorneys, if they choose to pursue it. Not every one who is interested in adopting needs a California Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, but some people prefer a lawyer who is specialized in this area of law. Certified family law specialists tend to require a higher rate than non-certified lawyers.
- Adoption lawyers typically require an initial retainer for services, often $1,000 – $5,000 or more depending on the complexities of your circumstances.
- You can learn more about adoption in California from the state FAQs page.
Types of Adoption Recognized in California
There are several types of adoption you may pursue in California. They include:
- Stepparent adoption. This process allows a child’s stepparent to become their legal parent and guardian. While most adoptions require that the parent be at least 10 years older than the child they want to adopt, that rule does not apply in stepparent adoptions.
- Familial adoption. If a child’s sibling, aunt or uncle, cousin, or grandparent wants to adopt them, the 10-year age difference rule does not apply.
- Foster care adoption. This process allows a family to adopt a child in the foster care system.
- Agency adoption. In agency adoptions, both the hopeful parents and biological parents are represented by the agency and guided through the process.
- Private adoption. Private adoptions allow the birth parents to choose the parents for their child.
- International adoption. International adoption does involve some work at the state level, but it also requires a significant amount of work at the federal level.
Orange County Adoption Attorneys:
Cordial Family Lawyers, LLP
How Much Does Adoption Cost in California?
The cost of adoption in California can vary greatly depending on the type of adoption and the agency or attorney you work with. Some private adoptions can be around $8,000 – $10,000, but some can swell up to $30,000 or more. Some common expenses associated with adoption include:
- Agency fees: Adoption agencies charge fees for their services, which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Home study fees: A home study is a process that assesses the adoptive parents’ ability to provide a safe and stable home for a child. This process can cost between $1,500 – $3,000 (source).
- Legal fees: Adoption attorneys may charge legal fees for their services due to the very complex laws and bureaucratic nightmare. This can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Birth mother expenses: In some types of adoption, such as domestic infant adoption, the adoptive parents may be responsible for covering certain expenses for the birth mother, such as living expenses or medical costs.
- Travel expenses: If the adoption involves travel, such as with an international adoption, the adoptive parents may need to pay for travel expenses such as airfare, lodging, and meals.
- Post-placement expenses: In some cases, the adoptive parents may be required to pay for post-placement supervision and counseling for the birth mother and child.
It’s important to note that some of these expenses may be covered by employer benefits, tax credit, or grants. Additionally, some states may have laws that regulate the amount of money that can be charged for adoptions.
The Adoption Process
The adoption process in California requires a substantial amount of paperwork, as the state must ensure that you are a willing and capable parent. After submitting initial paperwork, you will need to consent to interviews for everyone in your household. This allows the appointed social worker to verify that your home is a safe place for a child. You’ll also need to go through a thorough home study, which involves the social worker evaluating your home and family. You should also plan on attending adoption education programs that help you understand how adoption affects a child, what it means to raise a child from a different culture, and how to build a secure bond with your adopted child.
Depending on which type of adoption you pursue, you may need to wait for the parents to sign away their parental rights or their rights may have already been terminated by the court. Once all of the requirements have been met, your adoption will be reviewed and granted.
Adoption Attorneys Near Me:
14122 Red Hill Ave Suite C Tustin, CA 92780
17822 Seventeenth St. Suite. 407 Tustin, CA 92780
1855 W Katella Ave Orange, CA 92867
12900 Garden Grove Blvd #132, Garden Grove, CA 92843
The Benefits of Hiring an Orange County Adoption Attorney
Adoption is an emotionally draining process that has huge implications for your life. If there was ever a time to hire an attorney and lean on them for support, this is it. Your attorney can advocate for you as you strive to meet requirements, ensure that you meet important deadlines, and prepare you for court. If obstacles arise—and there’s always a chance that they will—your attorney can help you navigate them.
We’re here to help you find the right attorney for your adoption case. We’ve checked the California Bar Profile for every attorney on this list and verified that they are based in Orange County. Reach out to a local lawyer today to get started.