San Jose Family Lawyer Discusses Adoption
November 15, 2008 is National Adoption Day!
National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to promote awareness of the 129,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families, as well as those families that have been happily created through the adoption process. National Adoption Day helps make the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care. National Adoption Day is normally celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but was moved in 2008 for one year only.
Adoption is an important and often overlooked component of the family law system. Many children are either in homes with step-parents who wish to adopt them and don’t know how, or in foster homes with loving foster parents who wish to make their bond permanent. Adoption provides a means for abandoned, neglected and abused children to become a part of loving, caring families. Whether those bonds are formed through foster care, international adoption, private or open adoption, an attorney is an essential part of the process, which can be complicated and confusing, but ultimately, successful.
There are many steps to obtaining an adoption, including a social services review and home visit, termination of natural (birth) parent(s)’s rights, medical history and filing those all important court documents. An attorney can help you every step of the way.
What are the grounds for terminating a parent’s parental rights? You may be considering adopting a child, whether it’s a step parent adoption or an adoption through foster care and the juvenile system. California law provides specific circumstances under which a natural parent’s rights may be terminated. A proceeding may be brought to have a child under the age of 18 declared free from the custody and control of either or both parents where: (1) the child has been left without provision for the child’s identification, support, or communication from the abandoning parent; and (2) with the intent to abandon the child. Token efforts to support or communicate with a child or children is not enough to prevent a court from finding abandonment. Furthermore, the California courts have found that the code should be construed liberally to best protect the health safety and welfare of a child. Adoption provides safety and security to a child who is desperately in need of those very things.
Other grounds for termination of parental rights include conviction of a felony where the circumstances or nature of that felony prove the unfitness of a parent There is no requirement that the children be present when the felony occurs or that they be in current danger, but rather the purpose is to prevent future harm. The court considers the circumstances of the felony to determine whether it is likely that future harm may result to the child if the parental rights are not terminated.
If you are interested in learning more about adoption, whether it’s a child from the juvenile dependency system, a minor child who is a relative, a step-child, or any other child who has been abandoned by a parent, the attorneys in our office can help you. Our attorneys have experience handling multiple types of adoptions, and believe in making the process as painless as possible. Adoption is intended to be a happy event, and we strive to keep it that way. In addition, we specialize in divorce, child support, alimony, child custody and visitation, etc. Sagaria Law offers a free consultation, either in person or over the phone, at any of our six Northern California locations: Sacramento, Fremont, San Jose, Monterey, Salinas, and Redwood City. Call today to schedule your free consultation 1-800-941-6730 or visit www.sagarialaw.com!