Adoption Lawyer

in Novato, Marin County

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Overview of California Adoption Laws

Adopting a child can be a memorable and joyous experience. However, there is also a risk of encountering significant legal roadblocks that leave you emotionally scarred and traumatized. This is why it is so important to speak with an experienced family Law and Adoption lawyer in California to discuss the best path forward. Gaining a general understanding of adoption laws And The Adoption Process in California can be a big help and reduce the risk of feeling anxious and stressed out with uncertainty. Our Novato adoption attorney can walk you through the steps involved, the paperwork that is required to be completed and the timeframe you should expect to complete the entire adoption process. Whether you are doing a step-parent adoptionindependent adoption, adult adoption, or other form of adoption Castro Law’s Family Lawyers are here to guide you through this process. 

Two Key Legal Proceedings

In California, the adoption process is comprised of two key legal proceedings:

Establishing a legal parent and child relationship between the child and the non-biological parent, or parents

Terminating the legal rights of one or more biological-birth parents

Things to keep in mind through the

Adoption Process

Consent is Critically Important

There are a series of rules and regulations governing who must consent to the adoption and what can be done absent consent. For example,

  • Termination of parental rights generally should be accomplished with the consent of the biological-birth parent
  • Most states, including California, will not grant an adoption and terminate parental rights without evidence of consent.
  • In addition to consent being important for the termination of birth parent rights, it is extremely important if you are trying to adopt an older child. For example, under California law, if the adoptive parent is attempting to adopt a child who is over the age of 12, you must obtain the consent of the child to complete the adoption process.
  • If you are married and attempting to adopt a child, then your spouse must also consent to the adoption.

Issues with Birth Parents

Securing the consent of a birth parent, or parents, can be challenging, especially in certain circumstances where it may be difficult to locate the birth parent or the birth parent is deceased. Here is some important info you need to know if you encounter issues with securing the consent of a birth parent:

  • If it turns out that a biological-birth parent has passed away, you need to try and obtain a certified copy of their death certificate to present to the court for the adoption to go forward.
  • If you cannot locate a biological-birth parent, you need to present evidence that specific steps were taken to show that a reasonable attempt was made to locate the biological-birth parent. Maintaining records of your search efforts is important because a judge will ultimately determine if sufficient steps were taken to try and find the birth parent.
  • If the biological-birth parent is not known, or refuses to admit to paternity, then the prospective parent(s) could request that the consent requirement be waived.

Overview of the Proceedings to Complete a Simple Adoption Case

Here is an overview of the steps that need to be taken to complete a simple adoption case in California:

Court forms need to be filled out and reviewed (having an experienced Novato adoption attorney review the forms would be beneficial).

File the forms with the Court Clerk.

Serve documents on the biological-birth parent.

The Adoptive Parents will undergo a formal interview and an investigation will be conducted.A court date will be scheduled and the adoption hearing will be held. The child Or Children You Are Trying To Adopt must be brought to the hearing.


Jeremy Castro helped me with an adoption after my daughter’s dad passed away. My husband has been a step dad to her for 8 years and wanted to adopt her. Even though there is no way he can completely fill the role of her deceased father, he wanted to fully be there for her and offer comfort and emotional support for her. Jeremy and his wife Danielle were there every step of the way for us! I’m so grateful they were there to help with all of our questions and guide us though this process. Jermey’s passion for helping bring families together was so delightful.
This review is about my experience with Jeremy and team at Castro Law. After calling around numerous times to different firms, going to the law library, and reaching out to dads rights advocates. I still didn’t get much help. I made the best choice of my life by calling Castro Law. If you’re reading this I recommend at least giving them a call because they mean business. I finally feel at peace , they went above and beyond for me. The team is great at communicating, very knowledgeable, helpful, and are professional. In my experience mothers are the one favored in the courts, and get the better outcome. Jeremy and team were in my corner the whole time and proved that dads have rights too! Im with this team until my kids are 18 , thanks again Castro Law
I highly recommend Jeremy Castro and his associates to any future clients. They are legal professionals who: 1. Know and apply the law to your individual case to achieve the best possible outcome 2. Communicate in a fair and straightforward manner to all parties 3. Reduce the tension in an otherwise emotional setting and assist making objective decisions. They personally saw my case through to an amicable conclusion and their billing hours were appropriate. First class performance!
I wanted to take this time to write a review about my experience with Castro Law Offices. First off, they were not only FAST to my reply, but also very kind to my emotional situation. I was even handed some tissues for when I was crying. I was treated with the upmost respect (even though I'm sure I looked a little manic while in there explaining my case.) and kindness. They got my case close within a week, and also got me EVERYTHING I was asked for. I recommend Castro Law for ANYONE in need of lawyer assistance. Jeremy and his team work hard, day and night to make sure they meet all of their client's needs. If you're looking for immediate help and guidance with ANY attorney, Castro Law.
When things came to a point of contention with my children's father I knew I needed the help of an attorney. After weeks long search and hundreds of dollars in consultation fees with numerous other attorneys I finally found Jeremy! He is very knowledgeable regarding family law issues, authentic in his character and legal advice, as well as very reliable. As anyone in our shoes has been knows, the unknown can be very stressful. Jeremy made it a point to get back to me promptly when I contacted him...sometimes late into the night. He also was very transparent regarding communication with the other party. Would absolutely recommend Jeremy to anyone with with family law needs!
I was so happy I had decided to hire the Castro Law Office for my child custody and visitation case in Napa County. As a single father of three boys in the state of California, I felt as if I was already doomed thinking that the state would favor the mother regardless of my capability to care for our children. Jeremy was very empathetic and worked diligently to get myself in a good position for the hearing, as I hired him approximately a month prior to the court date. During the hearing, he was very stern and aggressive at the right moments. The situation I was in was extremely stressful and hiring the Castro Law Office helped put my mind at ease. He was very upfront and honest with me from the beginning and which is a trait I greatly appreciated. In the end, we were able to obtain an agreement that is best suited for the children and ourselves. I would hire them again for any other issues I might have in the future.

Have Questions About Adoption Laws In California?

Schedule a Confidential Case Review with an Experienced Attorney Today

If you are looking to adopt a child in California, Castro Law Offices, P.C. is here to help. We are a premier California family law firm specializing in adoption law, divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and all other issues concerning domestic relations. Castro Law Offices, P.C. is based in Novato, California, but is ready and able to provide legal services and advice to clients in and around Marin County including Novato, San Rafael, Greenbrae, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Sausalito, Larkspur, West Marin, Ross, Mill Valley and Corte Madera. Contact Castro Law Offices, P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation.