Independent Adoption Laws

in California

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Important Info You Need to Know

If you are looking to adopt an infant child in California, you typically have two choices to complete the adoption – (i) work with an adoption agency or (ii) complete an independent adoption.
If you opt for an independent adoption, the biological-birth parent will select an adoptive family and voluntarily transfer legal and physical custody directly to an adoptive parent, or parents. The term “personal selection” means that the biological-birth parent will be provided a set of identifying information about the prospective adoptive parents, including their full legal names, age, educational background, chosen profession, etc.
Even though an “independent” adoption often conjures the idea that a biological-birth parent and adoptive parent do everything on their own. In reality, an independent adoption still requires the services of numerous professionals, including an experienced family lawyer in California. In fact, in California, the vast majority of independent adoptions are handled by an experienced adoption lawyer in California, in conjunction with an adoption service provider.

Unique Aspects of an Independent Adoption

When you pursue an independent adoption, you will probably note the some key similarities with pursuing an adoption with an agency. However, the process of an independent adoption has unique characteristics. Here are just a few:

  • Your independent adoption must be open – In California, when an independent adoption is pursued, both the biological-birth parents and adoptive parents are required to exchange personally identifying information. This PII includes your full name and home address.
  • Screening requirements are not as thorough in an independent adoption – If you pursue an independent adoption, there are generally less screening requirements compared to an adoption completed through an agency. For example, an agency will typically require both the biological-birth parents and adoptive parents to complete adoption education and thorough background check and other requirements.
  • Independent adoptions are generally less expensive – The total cost to complete an independent option will vary based on your unique situation. You also need to keep in mind that a cheaper adoption is not always a better adoption.
  • Longer revocation period associated with an independent adoption, unless the biological-birth mother signs a Waiver of the Right to Revoke – When you pursue an independent adoption, there is a period of time in which the biological-birth parent can revoke the consent for the adoption. Generally, the consent will be finalized 30 days after the biological-birth parent signs the consent forms. However, there is an option for the biological-birth mother to sing a Waiver of the Right to Revoke, in which case their consent becomes irrevocable at the close of the next business day.

As you can see, there are an array of factors that need to be considered when deciding whether it makes sense to pursue an independent adoption. If you need help deciding, take the time to contact an experienced and knowledgeable adoption lawyer in Novato to discuss your options and the best path forward.


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 Independent Adoption Laws In California?

Take Action And Schedule A Free, Confidential Case Review With An Experienced Independent Adoption Lawyer Today

If you are looking to complete an independent adoption of a child in California, Castro Law Offices, P.C. is here to help. We are a respected, premier California law firm specializing in adoption issues, divorce, child custody, and all other family law matters. 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, Moss, Mill Valley and Corte Madera. Contact Castro Law Offices, P.C. today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.