Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption
If you are considering placing your child for adoption, or you would like to adopt a child, The Law Offices of Tim Blied can help. We have more than 35 years of experience representing birth mothers and providing adoption services for families throughout California. Contact our office in Santa Ana, California, for a consultation with a skilled adoption attorney.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about adoption:
What are the rights of the birthfather under California law?
California law divides all actual or possible biological fathers into two categories; namely, presumed fathers and alleged fathers. The parental rights of an alleged father are significantly less than those of a presumed father. An alleged natural father does not need to affirmatively consent to an adoption in order to proceed with a placement, although his cooperation is important and should be obtained whenever possible.
When and how does a placing birthmother consent to an adoption placement under California law?
The birthmother cannot sign a legally binding consent to an adoption under California law until after her child is born. In addition, she is generally required to receive counseling before signing her consent. The consent form she signs varies depending on whether the adoption is an independent adoption or an agency adoption.
What are allowable and appropriate expenses of Birthmothers which may be paid or reimbursed under California law?
California law provides that it is a crime to condition the placement of a child for adoption on the payment of money. California does not make it unlawful to pay maternity connected medical expenses or necessary living expenses of the birthmother during the pregnancy and post-birth recovery periods. Typically prenatal support is limited to the last 3 months of pregnancy and post-birth support is limited to 4 to 8 weeks after delivery in a normal case, or 8 to 12 weeks after delivery in the case of a caesarean delivery. Allowable expenses under California law include medical expenses and may also include maternity clothing, as well as assistance with housing, food and transportation costs in appropriate cases.
What is the cost of adopting a child?
The cost can vary depending on the situation and what outside agencies were involved. The adoptive family must pay all legal fees, as well as adoption fees to both the State of California and/or their adoption agency. Additionally, they may be required to pay for an adoption service provider, which is defined as a mandated counselor for the birth mother. Some adoptive families will also need to pay for the birth mother expenses, such as legal and medical expenses not covered by insurance, and basic living expenses.