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California adoption basics

Many in Manhattan Beach may have dreams of growing their families. Most might assume that would mean having children, yet there are certainly other methods through which one's family can expand. Adoption ranks among the most popular of these, with The National Council for Adoption reporting 110,373 adoptions having occurred as recently as 2014. Assuming legal responsibility for a child or teen can be a complex process, one that those who are interested in should thoroughly understand prior to commencing. 

First and foremost, California law states that any minor child can be adopted by an adult, yet there are some restrictions on who can adopt. Section 8601 of the California Family Code states that a person pursuing an adoption must be at least 10 years older than the child or teen they wish to adopt. The only exception to this rule would be if the potential adoptive parent shares any of the following relationships with the child or teen being adopted: 

  • Stepparent
  • Sibling
  • Aunt/uncle
  • First cousin

Even in such cases, however, the court must still agree that the adoption is in both the public's best interest as well as those of all parties involved. 

One who is married must have the consent of their spouse before proceeding with an adoption (this is true even in cases were a couple may be separated but not divorced). By consenting, the spouse does not necessarily also agree to be named as an adoptive parent to the child. If they indeed wish to be, they must make those desires known through a written statement to the court. 

Finally, if the child being adopted is over the age of 12, they must also give their consent to the adoption before it can be approved. 

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Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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