California Child Adoption Requirements

California Child Adoption Requirements

Adoption is a legal agreement under which the foster parents become personally liable concerning the child they adopt and gain all legal parental rights.

If you hope to achieve your parenting aspirations, it can be a great way to create or extend your family by bringing a child into your household and your heart. Indeed, each year in California, hundreds of thousands of successful adoption processes take place. In this way, many children who otherwise would not have their own families have become part of loving households. 

Their adoptive parents provide them with the treatment, security, and opportunity they need for safe personal development and growth.

Nevertheless, the process of child adoption in California can be life-changing, but also challenging and even confusing at times. It is also necessary for prospective adoptive parents to meet early on with a professional adoption attorney to know their options and better understand California child adoption laws.

Each state has its adoption process and laws, but the procedure will vary significantly for families in various states. As a native of California, you may want to consult with an adoption agency or adoption specialist who is very experienced with California child adoption requirements, its laws and policies. 

California Child Adoption Requirements and Laws

Adoption law comes under family law, which is regulated largely by individual states and differs greatly across the world.

The following are some significant factors in the adoption process and stepparent adoption in California:

1. Financial Status Requirements

Although you do not have to buy your own house to become an adoptive parent or reach a predetermined income standard, we have all heard the anecdotes of how much it takes to raise a child. 

Therefore, financial status, especially in single-parent adoptions, is often a concern. The court may require evidence that you can help and provide for the child as your benefits will come from employment, a pension, or disability compensation. 

A history of stable work can be seen by most courts not only as a symbol of financial security, but also as evidence of transparency and maturity. Outside the home, all members of a married pair or domestic partnership can work.

2.  Requirements for an International Adoption in California

As long as the adoption is finalized in a country of the Hague Convention, California will accept international adoption edicts issued under the laws of the United States and the country which authorized the adoption. In California, readoption is voluntary but may be necessary by the U.S. Homeland Security Agency. Readoption is the method of updating and legitimizing international recognition by a state court.

The procedure entails at least one in-home visit and filing the adoption appeal, the report of the interregional adoption court, financial records, the report of the home study, and the final order of adoption. 

A California birth certificate can be received by each California citizen who adopts internationally. Upon issuance of an adoption statement from the court or a readoption order, the state registration may create a new birth certificate.

3. Criminal Background Check

As part of adoption hearings, most states require a criminal background check. Minor violations, such as outstanding fines for parking, are generally of no significance. More serious allegations, however, may be a cause for worry and may affect adoption hearings. Of course, previous allegations of child abuse or neglect preclude an individual from being an adoptive parent.

4. Adopter’s age requirements

In the adoption process, always keep in mind that you should be at least ten years older than the child you are adopting. This age gap is part of adopting a child in California according to their child adoption laws.

5. Complete Home Study Examination

If you are planning to adopt a child in California, you must conduct a home study examination. This criterion for the adoption process and child adoption laws exists to show that you can provide the child with a secure, caring family and a peaceful environment. 

Also, the social worker appointed to your case will help you consider what sorts of choices could be better for your family, address your needs, and assist you in planning for the adoption process.

During the home study investigation, you will need to:

  • Submit your fingerprints
  • Subject to a physical test (A doctor’s note stating that you do not have any life-threatening or life-shortening diseases)
  • Attend lessons of an adoption school
  • Complete at least one separate social worker interview
  • A minimum of two trips to your home to see you and the child
  • Verification of working status and income.

Get Legal Assistance to Help You Meet California Child Adoption Requirements

Over the past 28 years, our partners at Azemika & Azemika have all successfully handled the most difficult and high asset family law cases in Kern County and we can help you, too. 
We are family law specialists and we understand that each case is as unique as the clients we represent. For comprehensive representation in the adoption process, contact us today.

TRIAL JUDGE WAS WRONG IN NOT GRANTING A CONTINUANCE OF HEARING IN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE

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A California Court of Appeals has ruled that a Trial Court was wrong, in a Domestic Violence Protection Act (“DVPA”) case, by refusing to grant a continuance to a Plaintiff who needed one to permit him to serve the opposing party and to give him time to recover from an unforeseen back surgery. In the case of J.M. v. W.T., Plaintiff, on January 8, 2019, filed a request for a DVPA protective order against Defendant. In a supporting declaration, Plaintiff asserted that between December 23, 2017, and March 17, 2018, Defendant committed several acts of domestic violence against Plaintiff (throwing a book at him, calling him offensive names over the phone, punching him with closed fist, biting him during sex, threatening to hurt his dog after the dog preferred Plaintiff to Defendant, and demanding entry to Plaintiff’s condo and then becoming physically out of control). Trial Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order pending the hearing and scheduled a hearing for January 29, 2019.

On January 24, 2019, Plaintiff submitted a written request for a continuance on California Judicial Council Form DV-115, explaining that he had been unable to serve Defendant with the necessary papers and that he was scheduled for spinal surgery on January 28, 2019, after which he would be unable to care for himself, stand or sit for a long period, or think clearly because of the medications. Neither party appeared at the January 29, 2019 hearing, and Trial Court denied the request for a continuance and dismissed the case, commenting that the incidents complained of happened almost a year ago.

Plaintiff appealed Trial Court’s decisions, and now a California Court of Appeals has reversed Trial Court’s decisions and remanded the case back to Trial Court with instructions. The Appellate Court has ruled that (1) under California Family Code Section 245(b), Trial Court must grant a continuance if a party shows good cause for one in writing or orally on the record; (2) the failure to serve the opposing party is grounds for a continuance; (3) here Plaintiff demonstrated good cause for a continuance on these facts; and (4) Trial Court abused its discretion by failing to grant a continuance. Therefore, the Appellate Court reversed Trial Court’s order denying a request for DVPA protective order and remanded the case back to Trial Court with directions to grant a continuance within 30 days of the case coming back to Trial Court.

HUSBAND LIVING IN FAMILY RESIDENCE AFTER SEPARATION OWES WIFE REASONABLE RENT BUT NOT INCREASE IN VALUE OF HOME

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A California Court of Appeals has ruled that Watts charges [a party having sole use of both parties’ community property asset, i.e., home, after separation can be charged for that party’s sole use, i.e., reasonable rental value of the home] may be ordered against Husband where Husband lived in his separate property house after the parties’ date of separation and Moore/Marsden formula gave the community a beneficial interest in the house because payments during the marriage were made with community property funds. In the case of In re Marriage of Mohler, Husband bought a house for $168,000, taking title in his sole name in February of 1995, prior to the parties’ marriage. Husband and Wife were married in September of 1998. They lived in the House until they separated on July 2, 2011. The payments on the House were made with community property funds [the parties’ earnings during the marriage] until that date. The principle reduction on the mortgage loan on the House was reduced during the parties’ marriage to the tune of $56,557. After they separated, Husband lived in the House and paid the house payments with his separate property funds [his earnings after the parties’ date of separation].

At trial in 2017, Trial Court valued the House at $530,000. The parties agreed that the Moore/Marsden formula [when community pays for one party’s separate property House during the marriage, the community gets reimbursed based on principle reduction of the loan on the House and appreciation in value of the house during the marriage] should be used to calculate the community property interest in the House acquired by making the mortgage payments. Using that formula, Trial Court calculated that the community property interest amounted to 33.66%, or $172,684 (appreciation value plus mortgage principle reduction). However, Wife argued that the community property interest must be increased to 64.9% to include the six (6) years that Husband lived in the House after the parties’ separation. In essence, Wife was arguing that she had to wait for six (6) years to receive her community property share in the House while Husband was solely enjoying the House and thus, her community property interest should be increased.

Trial Court agreed and re-calculated the community property interest under the Moore/Marsden formula at $332,944, which included Husband’s separate property payments of $52,482 [payments he made on the mortgage after the date of separation]. Husband appealed and now the California Court of Appeals has vacated Trial Court’s order and has remanded the case back to Trail Court with directions as to how to resolve the case.

The Appellate Court has ruled that (1) by making payments on Husband’s separate property House with community property funds [parties’ earnings during the marriage], the community acquired a beneficial interest in House the amount of which is calculated by the application of the Moore/Marsden formula;(2) the community ceases to acquire a beneficial interest in a spouse’s separate property when community property payments stop or date of separation occurs; (3) Trial Court erred by applying the Moore/Marsden formula beyond the date of separation after which Husband made house payments with his separate property [his earnings after the date of separation]; and (4) if any compensation is due to the community by reason of Husband’s living in the House after the parties’ separation, it must be calculated as Watts charges. According to the Appellate Court, “where, as here, the community does not own the property outright but instead maintains a beneficial partial interest in the property due to a Moore/Marsden calculation,” Watts charges may be applied. Therefore, the Appellate Court has remanded the case back to Trial Court for further proceedings in line with this opinion.