Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Adopting a child

Step-parent adoptions are only possible where one parent's rights have already been terminated or a parent is deceased. The adoption process depends on termination.  Where the natural parent will agree to the termination or one parent is deceased, the adoption is a one-step process. All the adopting parent must do is file a Petition for Adoption. The consent to the adoption or the death certificate is attached to the moving papers. An investigation is then conducted by the county to determine if adoption is appropriate. After the investigation, the case is set for an adoption hearing.

Contested adoptions are more difficult. First, they must be based upon proper grounds. Most commonly, that would be abandonment. Once the petition is filed, an investigation is conducted and the natural parent is contacted (if possible). Where the natural parent objects to the adoption, the court must have a trial on the issue. Furthermore, if the natural parent is unable to afford an attorney, one will be appointed for him or her. After the trial, if rights are terminated, there must be a follow up investigation, and then, finally, the adoption hearing. Contested adoptions generally take a year to complete, whereas an uncontested adoption can usually be completed in less than three months.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parental Rights: Giving Up Parental Rights

Dear Famularo & Associates: My wife and I recently divorced in Riverside County, California. About six months ago, I moved to Arizona. My ex-wife now refuses to allow our five-year-old daughter to visit me. I have not seen her since even though I have been paying my child support and have never been late. My ex-wife remarried a few weeks ago. I would like to sign over my parental rights. B.F. in Murrieta Dear B.F. In order to sign over your parental rights, your ex-wife must agree to allow you to do so. If your ex-wife is interested in allowing you to relinquish your parental rights, she must file a lawsuit. This would either be a termination proceeding or an adoption proceeding. If your daughter's step-father wishes to adopt your daughter, an adoption proceeding would be appropriate. If, on the other hand, the step-father does not wish to adopt your daughter, your ex-wife must file a termination of parental rights proceeding. The court has the discretion to refuse to allow your rights to be terminated if no one is adopting the child and the court is not satisfied that your ex-wife has the financial ability to care for your daughter without your support. If your ex-wife refuses to allow your parental rights to be terminated, you must continue to pay child support for your daughter even if you have no visitation. Child support and visitation are separate issues, and your ex-wife's refusal to allow your daughter to visit you does not forgive your obligation to help support your daughter. If you would like to have any sort of relationship with your daughter, you must go back to court and get the judge to order a visitation schedule that will work for you in the state of Arizona. Famularo & Associates Temecula Attorneys

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of Parental Rights

Before a child may be adopted, the natural parents of the child must be terminated. In order to terminate the parental rights of a natural parent, the court must find good cause. This can either be based upon consent (the parent agrees to allow his or her rights to be terminated), parental abandonment, or unfitness of the parent.


If a parent agrees that his or her rights should be terminated, the court will generally do so. If a parent has not had contact with the child for one year or more, the court can terminate based upon abandonment. Also, if the parent has committed a felony which endangered the child, the court may terminate parental rights.

Adoptions Proceedings

There are two types of adoptions: independent adoptions and step-parent adoptions. Famularo & Associates can assist you in your step-parent adoption needs. A step-parent adoption is one where the spouse of one of the natural parents adopts the child. Prior to the adoption process, the parental rights of the other natural parent must be terminated. Essentially, an adoption proceeding is two lawsuits in one: termination of parental rights and the adoption process. In Riverside County, California, the entire process from start to finish takes about six months. If you have any questions about an adoption proceeding, and you live in the Temecula area, please contact the Adoption Attorneys, Famularo & Associates at (951) 816-9543, for your free consultation.