What is the legal method for adopting a child in california?

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    Under California law, a written document substantiating consent of the adoption is required from a number of parties. This document must be signed and confirmed by two adult parties as well as by an official of an adoption agency who counseled the parents about their rights.

    This document is also required from the child's birth parents if they are still living, unless however, the parent is non-custodial and neither supports nor communicates with the child. Moreover, if the child to be adopted is 12 years old or older, then he or she must also consent to the adoption. No consent is needed, however, if the court finds that the adoption is in the best interest of the child on account of parental unfitness.

    At the finalization hearing, the judge will assess the circumstances of the child's impending new home and make a decision as to whether or not to approve of the adoption petition. If, after the assessment, the judge finds that the adoptive parents are suited to raise the child, then the adoption petition will be approved and an adoption decree will be delivered.

    The finalization hearing generally occurs within a year of the child's placement in the adoptive parents' home. The parties who should be in attendance at the finalization hearing are the adoptive parents and the adoptee, the adoptive parents' attorney, and the social worker responsible for placing the child in the adoptive home.

    Before making a final judgment, the judge will most likely ask the adoptive parents straightforward questions regarding their home, mindset, and methods. As long as the judge finds their responses to be acceptable and signs off on the adoptive order, this is the closing, formal step in the adoption process.

    In general, the child's birth name will be legally changed and an amended birth certificate will be issued by the court. The amended birth certificate will replace the names of the biological parents with the adoptive parents' and the child's birth name will be replaced with his or her new name. All documents pertaining to the adoption will then be sealed at the same time, along with the original birth certificate.

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