Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger

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Are You Looking to Adopt a Child in California?

Our Modesto Adoption Attorney Can Help You Through the Process

There is nothing quite like adopting a child. After all, you are deciding to add a new member to your family. Furthermore, if you choose to adopt, you choose to help prepare a life for the future. According to 2015 Child Trends report, 24% of children in California aged out of foster care, which is above the national average. Since California has so many foster children, you are helping not only the child, but the state and community, when you decide to adopt. However, the adoption process in California includes adhering to and meeting state requirements. For this reason, if you are considering adoption, you should also consider talking to a Modesto adoption attorney. Without a legal professional, you can easily miss out on key details that could create roadblocks concerning your application. If you are considering adopting a child in California, then our Modesto adoption attorney can help.

At Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger, we know how important it is to bring families together. For decades, our adoption law firm has helped potential adoptive parents successfully go through the California adoption process. From start to finish, we can help determine if you meet state requirements. In addition, we can go review all questionnaires and make sure you are adequately prepared for home visits and interviews. If you are looking to bring love and opportunity to a child, we have the resources and experience to help you expand your family.

What Are the Requirements to Adopt in California?

If you are looking to adopt in California, odds are you have questions about state requirements. The California adoption system will look at many various factors when determining your eligibility to adopt. However, every adoption is unique and presents its own set of challenges. For this reason, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Modesto adoption law firm that can examine your case in detail. Some factors our attorneys will examine include:

  • Age: In general, California does not have an adoption age limit. However, the adoptive parent must be at least 10 years older than the adoptive child. Sometimes, exceptions are made if you are related to the child or a step-parent.
  • Readiness: A large part of a successful adoption is the readiness of a potential adoptive parent. All parties involved want to make sure you are ready to care for a child without emotional or financial burden. Before adoption, make sure that you are being realistic, genuine and sincere about this significant decision.
  • Marital Status: You do not need to be married to adopt in California. However, if you are married, then you and your spouse will have to file for joint adoption.
  • Criminal History: If you have a criminal history, it can affect your California adoption application. Ultimately, if you have a crime on your record, then your eligibility will be determined by the nature of the crime.

What Is the Adoption Process in California?

If you know that you want to adopt and feel you can meet state requirements, then you likely want to know about how the adoption process works in California. When adopting a child in California, the state requires you to fill out legal documents and go through a home study. These steps help match a potential parent with an adoptive child. After filling out the legal forms and completing the studies, you can find out about eligibility. Our Modesto adoption attorney can help you with every step of the process, including planning and determining the following:

  • Type of Adoption: If you are planning to adopt, odds are you are interested in what types of adoptions are available. A directed adoption is used when you know a couple who wants to give up their child for adoption. This type of adoption is best for families that personally know someone who is putting their child for adoption. Alternatively, you may be a step-parent who is looking to adopt a child that is not biologically related to you. For example, if a biological parent gets married to a non-biological parent, you should consider the step-parent adoption process. In these cases it may be necessary to file a separate petition to terminate the parental rights of the other, non-custodial parent, but there are specific requirements that must be met to do this without the non-custodial parent’s consent. Grandparent adoptions often times involve this same type of process. Finally, there are adult adoptions, which are most often situations where a child has been raised by someone who is not their biological parent. In these cases, an adult child can consent to the adoption. If you are unsure which type of adoption will work best for you, a Modesto adoption lawyer at our firm can help you locate an adoption agency that fits you and your family needs.
  • Adoption Home Study: An adoption home study occurs in three stages. First, documents are initialized. Next, an agency or social worker will interview members of your family. Finally, your home will be inspected to make sure it is fit for a child. We can help you prepare for this visit.
  • Adoptive Family Profile: A family profile is a scenario that shows a potential adoptive parent a portrait of what life together could be like. For instance, if a baby has special needs, a family profile can be an opportunity to run through the child’s needs and routine.
  • Adoptive Planning Questionnaire: This questionnaire helps pinpoint what you are looking for in an adoptive child. If you are looking to adopt a newborn, this questionnaire can be used to help match you with a pregnant woman that fits your situation.

Adopting a Child in California? Call Our Modesto Adoption Attorney Now

Are you preparing for the next chapter in your family’s story? Have questions about child custody, adoption or support? Adopting a child in California can be a beautiful and fulfilling experience. Without a Modesto adoption attorney, you can face roadblocks to your application. Although an exciting experience, we know how difficult the adoption process can be. With experienced compassion and respect, we will pursue every option to ensure you have the best outcome possible.

At Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger, we have helped unite and grow families for decades. Your consultation is always free and confidential, and our staff is adaptive and accommodating. Our team believes that adopted children should be united with good people. Contact us online or call (209) 340-1110 to schedule a free consultation so we can help you grow your household.

“This firm exemplifies how a multi-faceted group of attorneys can work together to achieve positive results.”

- James M.
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