Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.
— David Starr Jordan
Adoption occurs when a legal parent-child relationship is formed with an adopting parent who is not the child’s biological parent. Upon finalization of the adoption, an adoptive parent has all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent. The new relationship is permanent and the same as that of a birth parent. At Merus Law we have experience representing clients in a variety of adoption situations:
Independent Adoptions: No adoption agency takes part in the adoption case (including no involvement from social services). These adoptions can include situations where a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or other relative is adopting the child.
Agency Adoptions: Either an adoption agency or social services is part of the adoption case.
Step-Parent Adoptions: This is the most common type of adoption, and occurs when a couple is legally married, or in a registered domestic partnership, and the spouse or domestic partner of the child’s parent adopts the child.
Adult Adoptions: Two adults (who are not related to one another) can use adoption to change the legal status of their relationship to that of parent and adult child. For adult adoptions, you do not need the consent of the biological parents of the person being adopted.
Please note that while our office provides representation for all the aforementioned adoption situations, we do not provide placement services. In other words, our clients retain us once they have found a child to adopt, either independently or through an agency.
Adoption can be a complicated process. Each state has its own unique adoption laws, therefore it is important that you hire an attorney well versed in California’s rules governing adoption. Birth mothers and birth fathers have rights that need to be properly addressed in order for a successful adoption. Also, there are significant tax deductions for adoption expenses. At Merus Law we will guide you through the adoption hearings, paperwork, and home studies, so that you can remain focused on the child you are adopting rather than the legal process.