Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Basic Introduction to Step-Parent Adoptions 2010 California Conference on Self-Represented Litigants Speakers : Lucia Reyes, Levitt & Quinn Family Law.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Basic Introduction to Step-Parent Adoptions 2010 California Conference on Self-Represented Litigants Speakers : Lucia Reyes, Levitt & Quinn Family Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Introduction to Step-Parent Adoptions 2010 California Conference on Self-Represented Litigants Speakers : Lucia Reyes, Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center Malea Chavez, ACCESS Center, Superior Court of California, San Francisco Betsy Lee, ACCESS Center, Superior Court of California, San Francisco

2 Types of Adoptions  Independent  Stepparent/Domestic Partner  Limited Consent/Second Parent Adoptions

3 Overview of the Adoption Process Step 1: Adoption Request Step 1: Adoption Request Step 2: Home Study Investigation/Report Step 2: Home Study Investigation/Report Step 3: Termination of Parental Rights Step 3: Termination of Parental Rights Step 4: Finalization Stage Step 4: Finalization Stage

4 Adoption Request Relative vs. Non-Relative Relative vs. Non-Relative Role of the Adoption Services Provider (ASP) Role of the Adoption Services Provider (ASP) Court Court Filing Fee Filing Fee

5 Home Study Investigation/Report Documents Needed to Start the Case Documents Needed to Start the Case Certified copies of the birth certificates, marriage certificates/RDP, divorce decrees, death certificates, and Letters of Guardianship Certified copies of the birth certificates, marriage certificates/RDP, divorce decrees, death certificates, and Letters of Guardianship DCFS Adoption Questionnaire(s) DCFS Adoption Questionnaire(s) Conformed copy of Adoption Request Conformed copy of Adoption Request Role of the Social Worker/Investigation Role of the Social Worker/Investigation Fee for Home Study Report Fee for Home Study Report

6 Termination of Parental Rights Consent vs. Court Order Consent vs. Court Order Alleged Father vs. Presumed Father Alleged Father vs. Presumed Father

7 Termination of Parental Rights (continued) Family Code Sections most commonly used for Termination of Parental Rights Family Code Sections most commonly used for Termination of Parental Rights 7662 (alleged father) 7662 (alleged father) 8604 (presumed parent) 8604 (presumed parent) 7820 (presumed parent) 7820 (presumed parent)

8 Termination of Parental Rights (continued) Identify/Locate Parent(s) Identify/Locate Parent(s) Due Diligence Search Due Diligence Search Parentage Letters Parentage Letters Military Search Military Search Service (Personal, Posting or Publication) Service (Personal, Posting or Publication)

9 Finalization Stage When are you ready to proceed to finalization? When are you ready to proceed to finalization? How do you schedule a hearing date? How do you schedule a hearing date? What to expect at the finalization hearing? What to expect at the finalization hearing?

10 Step-Parent Adoptions What type of case to start? What type of case to start? Has paternity been established? Has paternity been established? Judicial determination Judicial determination Voluntary declaration Voluntary declaration Legal presumption Legal presumption Parentage: Willful Failure Parentage: Willful Failure No Parentage: Termination No Parentage: Termination

11 Step-Parent Adoptions Initial Intake: Initial Intake: Important to get all information up front! Important to get all information up front! Intake forms, Declaration of Mother Intake forms, Declaration of Mother Accuracy of information Accuracy of information Obtain copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, court orders, etc. Obtain copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, court orders, etc. Minor’s knowledge and consent Minor’s knowledge and consent Minors over 12 must consent Minors over 12 must consent Minor must attend hearing regardless of age Minor must attend hearing regardless of age

12 Step-Parent Adoptions Citizenship: Citizenship: Probation department forms will ask about immigration status Probation department forms will ask about immigration status “no known status” “no known status” Service issues: Service issues: If need to serve by posting/mailing, schedule hearings further out to complete service If need to serve by posting/mailing, schedule hearings further out to complete service

13 Willful Failure FC § 8604(b): absent parent has for a period of one year or more: FC § 8604(b): absent parent has for a period of one year or more: Failed to communicate with the child AND Failed to communicate with the child AND Failed to financially support the child Failed to financially support the child Paternity established Paternity established Adoption Request: mark # 17 Adoption Request: mark # 17 Service by posting/mailing, schedule Citation Hearing 8 weeks out Service by posting/mailing, schedule Citation Hearing 8 weeks out Citation Hearing Citation Hearing

14 Abandonment FC § 7820 et seq: freeing a child from parental custody and control. FC § 7820 et seq: freeing a child from parental custody and control. Proceed with Abandonment case if can only prove one element of Willful Failure. Proceed with Abandonment case if can only prove one element of Willful Failure. Complex procedure Complex procedure Extra interview with probation department Extra interview with probation department Court can appoint counsel to any party if necessary Court can appoint counsel to any party if necessary

15 Termination Parentage has not been established Parentage has not been established Alleged father Alleged father FC § 7662 FC § 7662 Notice to Alleged Father Notice to Alleged Father Father can initiate paternity case within 30 days of service Father can initiate paternity case within 30 days of service Father can consent (waive further notice) Father can consent (waive further notice) Deny paternity (waive further notice) Deny paternity (waive further notice)

16 Termination Adoption Request: mark #16 Adoption Request: mark #16 Termination of Paternal Rights Termination of Paternal Rights Wait 30 days after service before filing Termination of Paternal Rights Wait 30 days after service before filing Termination of Paternal Rights If posting/mailing, need to wait 60 days If posting/mailing, need to wait 60 days No hearing – File Petition and Order will be sent by mail No hearing – File Petition and Order will be sent by mail

17 Service Issues Personal Service Personal Service Service by posting and mailing Service by posting and mailing Must have fee waiver Must have fee waiver Declaration of Due Diligence Declaration of Due Diligence Order may take up to two weeks Order may take up to two weeks Service not complete until 28 days after posting and mailing Service not complete until 28 days after posting and mailing Service by publication Service by publication

18 Social Study/Home Visit Conducted by Juvenile Probation Department in San Francisco Conducted by Juvenile Probation Department in San Francisco Important for Court to coordinate with probation dept Important for Court to coordinate with probation dept Make sure case is forwarded to dept Make sure case is forwarded to dept Investigation Fee: up to $200 in SF Investigation Fee: up to $200 in SF Complete all necessary forms Complete all necessary forms

19 Adoption Hearing Investigation Report must be completed before court can schedule Hearing Investigation Report must be completed before court can schedule Hearing Step-parent, custodial parent and minor must attend Step-parent, custodial parent and minor must attend

20 Tips If proceeding by publication for multiple children with the same parents, consolidate the cases If proceeding by publication for multiple children with the same parents, consolidate the cases All TPR proceedings heard at the Children’s Court in Monterey Park All TPR proceedings heard at the Children’s Court in Monterey Park Foreign born children must satisfy the Hague Adoption Requirements Foreign born children must satisfy the Hague Adoption Requirements Honesty with Social Worker re criminal record (Adam Walsh Act) Honesty with Social Worker re criminal record (Adam Walsh Act) Consistency in names throughout documents Consistency in names throughout documents Terminate all possible alleged & presumed parents Terminate all possible alleged & presumed parents Probation Officer Investigation with Independent Adoptions Probation Officer Investigation with Independent Adoptions Tax Credit/Exclusion with Independent Adoptions Tax Credit/Exclusion with Independent Adoptions Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up New Birth Certificate New Birth Certificate

21 Contact Information Department of Children and Family Services Department of Children and Family Services Independent & Stepparent Adoptions Unit 3530 Wilshire Blvd., 4th Floor Los Angeles, CA Tao Dam, Independent Adopt. Asst. (213) Raul Ortega, Stepparent Adopt. Asst. (213) Juvenile Probation Department Juvenile Probation Department City and County of San Francisco, Special Services 375 Woodside Avenue San Francisco, CA (415) ACCESS Center ACCESS Center Superior Court of California, San Francisco 575 Polk Street, Room 001 San Francisco, CA Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center 1557 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA (213) ext. 300

22 Helpful Websites (CDSS Forms) (CDSS Forms) (ASP List) (ASP List) adoption.state.gov (Hague Adoption Info) adoption.state.gov (Hague Adoption Info) adoption.state.gov ?css=print (Service of Legal Documents Abroad) ?css=print (Service of Legal Documents Abroad) ?css=print ?css=print


Download ppt "Basic Introduction to Step-Parent Adoptions 2010 California Conference on Self-Represented Litigants Speakers : Lucia Reyes, Levitt & Quinn Family Law."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google