How to Adopt Your Stepchild in California
In the state of California adoption is actually a rather simple process. Once you have determined that you want to adopt your stepchild, you will need to take specific legal steps to do so. This article will explain what to consider during the adoption process, how to get the documents needed for free, and what to expect from the process.
First, adoption is a very serious thing to consider before acting. You do not want to make a rash decision that could have a long term effect on a child’s welfare. If you are sincere in your wishes to adopt your stepchild, then you should not rush into it. Take some time to consider the long term importance of taking responsibility for this child the same as you would your biological children.
It is also important to make certain that you talk with the child and make sure that they want the adoption as well. This is a very big step for a child, and they should be afforded plenty of time to consider every option. Letting go of your biological parents is a very scary thing for a child, even if they did not know their parents that well. It is like letting go of a part of themselves.
Fortunately, there is also joy in adopting a child. You can expect to have a very unique bond with this child for a lifetime. Assuming you have decided to adopt, you are now ready to move on to the next step in adopting your stepchild.
Filling out the correct legal forms for your adoption is very important and doing so correctly will help speed things along when you go to the courthouse. You will need three forms to get the process started:
You can get these forms on line right here for absolutely no cost. This is also a great resource to use if you are wanting to download any kinds of legal forms.
Adopt-200 is a formal adoption request. This gives the judge information needed about you and your stepchild. This form should be filled out completely. It is full of things that the judge will need to know.
Adopt-210 is a formal adoption agreement. This is the form that will tell the judge that you and the child wants to do the adoption. Fill this out completely but do not sign until the judge says to do so.
Adopt-215 is the actual adoption order ?This is the form the judge will sign if he agrees to the adoption.
Once you have acquired these legal forms and filled them out, then you take the papers to the courthouse. The County Clerk will charge you a filing fee. After this, a social worker will come and visit and speak with the child. This is mandatory for all adoptions and it gives the courts an independent source to use when determining if an adoption is safe and the right solution for the child. Fill out those forms for the social worker and then wait for you to receive your copy of the social worker’s report.
Once you receive this, you should ask the clerk of court for a court date. On your court date, you will need to bring all of your legal forms, the child being adopted, and any friends or family that may want to attend. Many adoptions are like celebrations.
This process is not that complicated and it is a wonderful way to ensure a child is well taken care of. If your stepchild is in the situation where they need adopting, regardless of the reason, you now have the knowledge of how to do so.
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