Adoption Lawyer in Sacramento
Adoption is the legal process of establishing and creating a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child’s biological or birth parent. Once the adoption is complete, the adoptive parents enjoy all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. That new parent-child relationship is permanent and is exactly the same as that of a birth family. An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood. Once the adoption petition is filed, the court will appoint the probate department to conduct an investigative “home study”, which typically involves background checks, a physical visit to the proposed residence of the minor child, and contact with additional third parties if deemed necessary. Once the investigative home study has been completed, the assigned investigator will provide a written report to the court, which includes recommendations to the court as to whether the adoption petition should be granted or not.
There are different “types” adoption available in the State of California: agency adoption, tribal customary adoption, or independent adoption. “Agency” adoptions, foster child adoptions, and tribal customary adoptions are not presently handled by the Law Office of Kevin M. Cecil. More information regarding these adoption methods are available in the “Sacramento Attorneys” section located on the home page.
The Law Office of Kevin M. Cecil proudly assists and represents clients for independent adoption petitions, which occur when the birth parents and the adoptive parents make an agreement that the adoption should go forward. There is no adoption agency involved. Sometimes, however, the birth parent(s) either cannot be located or do not provide consent. Consent of one or both of the birth parents is not a prerequisite. When an independent adoption petition is filed, a petition to declare the minor from the parental custody and control of the birth parent(s) is also filed. Most commonly, a petition to declare the minor from free the parental custody and control of the birth parent(s) is filed under the legal theory of abandonment, but there are other legal avenues to seek this kind of order also.
Why adopt a child? Independent adoptions allows couples and individuals to legitimize already-established relationships under the eyes of the law. Independent adoption petitions may be filed by a relative, a non-relative, an additional proposed parent, or by a step-parent (which are the most common type of independent adoption). Quite frequently, circumstances arise which result in non-birth parents developing meaningful and everlasting bonds with children, to the extent that couples and/or individuals hold out the child/children to the public as if they were their own birth children. By extension, the child/children grows and becomes accustomed to feeling as if he/she is a member of that household. As such, the adoption process can bring to the child/children a pronounced sense of “belonging” and being a part of the family unit. Frequently, children have their surnames changed through the adoption process so that they may feel included as a part of their home. Adoption may also assist in building rewarding relationships between adoptive families and birth parents in the event there is no disagreement.
Adoption petitions may be contested or contested. Unlike most issues which are brought before the family court, uncontested adoption proceedings tend to be joyous occasions. The judge usually brings the child/children and the adoptive parent(s) to its chambers, congratulates them, takes pictures with them, and offers words of wisdom and encouragement. Contested adoption proceedings, on the other hand, are far less joyous and tend to mirror the inherent animosity attendant to most of the contested issues brought before the family court. Nonetheless, the permanency of a granted adoption petition remains unchanged.
Like most other areas of family law, the adoption process can be quite complicated, and the results are permanent. The choice to adopt a child is one of the most important life decisions, and the Law Office of Kevin M. Cecil would be honored to guide you and your family through this process.
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Meet Kevin M. Cecil
Kevin M. Cecil is a lifelong Sacramento resident with an ongoing commitment toward service of the greater Sacramento community. Mr. Cecil graduated from California State University, Chico, and received his law degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. With experience in a variety of legal areas and settings, including, but not limited to, criminal defense, juvenile law, personal injury, and civil litigation, Mr. Cecil chose to concentrate on providing the best family law services in the greater Sacramento area, and has continued to do so for the past 13 years. He has assisted clients in many areas of family law, including divorce and legal separation, mediation, child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders actions, guardianships, adoptions, and “ghostwriting” services.
If you are seeking advice and/or legal representation from the leading divorce and family law lawyer in the greater Sacramento area, look no further than The Law Office of Kevin M. Cecil. Contact us to setup your consultation today!