Adoption – How Many Categories Are There?

One definition of adoption is assuming permanent responsibilty and parenthood of a minor, not related to you by blood, through a valid legal process. There quite a few varying categories of adoptions.

The first category is distinguishable by the age related terminology used for the developmental stages from infant to adult.

1. INFANT: adoption takes place prior to, or directly at birth or somtime within the toddler years.

2. WAITING-CHILD: pertains to adopting toddler aged children.

3. OLDER-CHILD: involves children over the age of 2.

4. ADULT: the final stage of “age-related” adoptions. Comprises of one adult adoptig another adult not related by either blood or marriage. Such as a young adult adopting an older adult, age 65 or older.

Another category consists of adoptions occurring within a famiy related by blood or marriage.

1. RELATED CHILD: the child is adopted by someone within their family, such as, but not limited to, an Aunt, Uncle, or Grandparent.

2. STEP CHILD: after a lengthy legal process involving the Termination of Parental Rights of the absent or non-custodial biological parent, the step parent adopts the step child.

The next category, generally labeled as foreign adoption,

1. MILITARY or OVERSEAS: involves a child or children being adopted by a member of the military overseas.

2. INTERNATIONAL: a couple chosen has chosen to adopt a child native to another country.

Two other more frequently occurring types of adoptions are,

1. SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD: the adoption of children with above average medical, mental, etc. needs.

2. FOSTER CHILD: the placement of a child with adults, both educated and qualified to care for the child.

Financial Facts About Adoption.

The financial aspect of adoption is inflenced by a couple of factors. The expense could vary from nothing to being extremely costly, which would rely heavily on the specifications of the contract drawn up between the adoption agency and the adoptive couple. Another factor to consider is which category your adoption will be defined in. For instance if you have chosen INTERNATIONAL, this type is relatively costly, as well as lengthy in procedure.

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Adult Adoptions in California

This article will discuss Adult Adoptions in California. In the State of California any adult person may adopt another younger person so long as the person adopting is at least ten (10) years older than the person being adopted. An adult adoption is when someone adopts a person who is 18 or over and not related to them. An adult adoption changes the legal rights of the adoptive parent and the adoptee. It severs the existing relationship with biological parents. The statutes for Adult Adoptions are contained in Family Code Sections 9300 through 9340.

The person being adopted may be unrelated, or may be an adult stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild of the adopting person. Often in a stepparent situation, when the legal parent’s rights cannot be terminated nor consent obtained, the parties can wait until the minor is 18 and proceed with an adult adoption which is much quicker and less expensive than adopting a minor.

The author has worked on many Adult Adoptions where the adopting parent has raised the person to be adopted as their own child for many years and wishes to formalize the relationship.

In adult adoptions,

Neither the consent of the natural parent or parents of the person to be adopted is required;

A Social Services investigation is typically not required;

A married person who is not legally separated from his or her spouse cannot adopt an adult person without the consent of the spouse of the adopting person;

A married person who is not legally separated from his or her spouse cannot be adopted without the consent of the spouse of the person to be adopted;

The person being adopted may elect to change his or her name through the adoption proceeding or may elect to keep his or her existing name.

A Petition for adult adoption is filed with the Court listing the name, age, date and place of birth of the Petitioners, how long the Petitioners have known each other, why the Petitioners want the adoption to take place and why the adoption is in the public interest. The Petition must also ask the Court to approve the adoption agreement and to make a Decree of adult adoption.

If either Petitioner is married, the name of the spouse (if any), the date of their marriage, and the names and ages of their children must be provided. If spouses have signed consents to the adoption, their names and the dates they signed the consents must be listed in the Petition and the original signed consents must be attached as well as Exhibits to the Petition.

An adoption agreement between the person to be adopted and the adoptive parent must also be filed with the Petition. Both Petitioners must sign and date the Agreement. The Agreement must say that they both agree to assume the legal relationship of parent and child and all the duties and responsibilities of that relationship.

The filing fee for an adult adoption is $20.00. Some counties such as Los Angeles County, have a local form which must be used to request that a hearing date be set on the Petition for adult adoption. In Orange County the local form used is the memorandum for setting for hearing.

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Yours Truly,

Stan Burman

Copyright 2012 Stan Burman. All rights reserved.


Please note that the author of this article, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this article is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

These materials and information contained in this article have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this article is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the sender and receiver. Any readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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