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Southern California Adoption

Domestic adoptions are adoptions by U.S. citizens of U.S.-born children.
Adoption is open to all families: traditional, single parent, or non-traditional, provided they meet specific criteria outlined by the State of California. In California, acceptance of unmarried adults adopting a child has been attained.

Domestic adoptions include foster child adoptions, infant adoptions, and stepchild adoptions, or attorney-assisted adoptions and designated adoptions.

Infant adoption is the domestic adoption of an infant, which is usually accomplished by the pairing of birth parents with adoptive parents. Stepchild adoptions, like other adoptions between family members, are unlike traditional adoptions in that the parent and child have already become matched by other circumstances. Designated adoption is occurred when prospective parents and birth parents have reached an adoption agreement independently, while an attorney-assisted adoption needs a family study first to prepare for the adoption.

Nowadays, most birthparents retain some level of contact with the adoptive family which is called an open adoption. Otherwise, it will be call a closed adoption.

Adoption Attorney's Role
An advantage to using an adoption attorney is that you have more input into the process. By the process of an independent adoption, your attorney searches for a birthmother and screens prospective birthmothers for you. Of course, the attorney also facilitates all of the legal procedures necessary to complete your adoption. Whatever kind of adoption you are interested in, you will need an adoption attorney. Designated adoptions still need an attorney in facilitating an adoption plan.

Social Worker's Role
In addition to an adoption attorney, you will need to hire a social worker to prepare a "home study." Adoption laws require that the adoptive parents undergo a basic investigation. The social worker will investigate criminal history, ask the parents to have medical examinations done, visit the home to make sure it is equipped for a new child, require adoptive parent training and counseling, and review the parents' finances to make sure they can financially handle a new member of the family.

Generally, most adults are eligible to adopt. Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 18 years old and generally not over 50 years old, although the upper age limit is often relevant only in some other countries. Single people may adopt. People with relatively moderate incomes may adopt, as long as they are financially fit to raise the child. You need not be employed as a professional to adopt, but steady employment is required. Adoptive parents must not have serious criminal records or a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Some agencies have requirements regarding religion, fertility status, or educational background.

Adoption is a legal process by which a new parent-child relationship is formed. The laws governing adoption vary widely from state to state. Whatever type of adoption you are interested in, you would be wise to hire an adoption attorney immediately to guide you through the process.

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