Three Important Requirements for California Adoptions

Adoption is one of the most exciting and rewarding practices any person can engage in. Unfortunately, it is also often one of the most challenging. The adoption approval process is long, labor-intensive, and filled with uncertainty. However, as someone who has helped countless Atascadero and San Luis Obispo County families successfully adopt children, I can say with certainty that adoption is absolutely worth it.

That’s why I put together this list of three straightforward requirements for prospective adoptive parents. While this list is far from exhaustive, it’s a good place to get started with some requirements you might not have known about.

1. If you are married, you and your spouse must both adopt the child.

This may seem obvious—unless you’re one of the many people wondering if it’s possible. If you’re married, the state of California requires both you and your spouse to adopt any children. But this does NOT mean that you need to be married to adopt. Why might this requirement be relevant? Well, imagine if one member of a marriage believes they could qualify to adopt but suspects that their spouse could not. This law prevents that from happening and ensures that both parents are on board before bringing a child into their home.

2. Unless you are a family member, you must be at least 10 years older than the child.

California does not have an age requirement for adoption, but it does specify that adoptive parents must be at least 10 years older than the child. There are exceptions for family members, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, or even older siblings.

3. You cannot have been convicted of a crime involving children.

Generally, a criminal record is a hurdle to adoption. Depending how long ago the crime occurred and whether the person can demonstrate that they’ve changed their life, it may still be possible to adopt. However, if the crime involved violence against children, that person will almost certainly not be able to adopt.

Work with a trusted adoption attorney.

When it comes to applying for adoption, don’t go it alone. As an experienced family lawyer, I know firsthand how complicated the process can get—and how big of a difference the right legal guidance can make. I’ve been helping California families achieve their goals since 1985, and I know exactly what it takes to ensure that your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible. Call my office today at (805) 466-5888 to schedule a consultation for your case.

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