Assisted Reproduction Technology “ART” Legal Services
Surrogacy, Egg Donor & Sperm Donor Representation
Creation and Completion of Guardianship of Minors Actions
Unsealing Original Birth Certificates and Unsealing Sealed Adoption Records throughout the state of California
It’s not too often that dreams come true. But, in 1989, ours did, when my wife and I became parents through adoption. The joy that our daughter brought into our lives was and remains immense. Our world expanded. Overnight, we became a Mommy and a Daddy. A beautiful little girl depended on us. In our quest to adopt a baby, we learned what we liked and didn’t like about the adoption process. Because of our experience with our own daughter’s adoption I decided to focus my law practice on adoption (independent, agency, relative, second parent, adult, stepparent, international readoption) and family formation law including surrogacy. Over the past 35 years I have enlarged the practice to also encompass readoption cases for families who adopt internationally and are required or wish to readopt their child in California. We have appreciable expertise in doing the legal paperwork in connection of the various kinds of adoptions.
I promised myself that it would make certain that my fees for my legal work would be reasonable and affordable, tailored to meet my clients’ specific needs, mindful of their budgets, and that my clients would always know that I cared. I vowed to make sure that the measure of my caring for my clients and their goals was manifest in the work I did for them daily.
I remember early in my career when a potential client explained to me what he and his wife were seeking in adoption counsel and he stated, “We do not want to have to file bankruptcy in order to adopt.” That comment made quite an impression. How could I help clients adopt while keeping prices low, reasonable and fair? Better yet, how could we make sure that the clients could exercise control over the cost of their adoption efforts? That mission, to help people make affordable adoption efforts and successfully adopt became my goal.
My name is David Baum, and I’m an Adoption Attorney with 44+ years of experience in family formation law, surrogacy and adoption law (now focused solely on stepparent, second parent, relative, adult adoption and readoption) and my office is in Los Angeles. My wife and I are also adoptive parents ourselves.
To date, I’ve successfully helped more than one thousand families through the adoption and/or surrogacy processes. My offices have assisted families providing personalized service along the way including 24/7 hour accessibility and reasonable pricing–something rather rare in lawyer circles. Although my adoption and surrogacy law firm is based in Los Angeles with offices in the San Fernando Valley, we serve families seeking fair priced adoption legal services that won’t break the bank, throughout the United States.
by National Lawyer Rating Service Martindale-Hubbell
Adoption and surrogacy laws are always undergoing substantial revision. Just when you think that you have your bases covered, new laws are enacted and every stroke of the legislative and judicial pen impacts on every person involved in the process, including adoption law firms, adoption agencies, egg & sperm donation agencies, surrogates and surrogacy agencies, intended parents, birth parents, and adoptive families.
In fact, as of January 1, 2024, California will prohibit adoption facilitation services heretofore provided by unlicensed persons often referred to as “adoption facilitators” and also the law will prohibit licensed attorneys (who used to be able to provide certain “locate and match services”) from providing those services. And if you start working before the end of 2023 with a lawyer or facilitator who promises to provide these services, they are required by law to cease and desist from doing so as of January 1, 2024 or risk criminal prosecution for doing so after that date,
For more than 35 years in the past I used to provide services to prospective adoptive families or birth parents to help them connect with one another, to help them form an agreement to make an adoption plan and once they agreed to work with one another to help move their adoption plan forward. Sadly because of the change in the law, attorneys like me in California are no longer legally allowed to do so and as such, in cases of the adoption of an unrelated minor child by prospective adopting parents, the most that my office can do is provide legal services–drafting court documents, advising clients about official forms which they must complete in connection with their home studies, and attending court hearings. In instances of NEWBORN or MINORS being adopted I no longer provide any services other than legal services.
The new law restricts those who may engage in operating or providing adoption facilitation services in the state. Common practices and services undertaken by adoption facilitators often include advertising for the purpose of soliciting parties to an adoption, locating babies to be born or born or children for an adoption plan with unrelated adopting parents, acting as an intermediary between the parties to an adoption and charging fees for services rendered for those acts.
As of January 1, 2024 only authorized persons employed by licensed adoption agencies, or organizations who are employed by license adoption agencies within the state of California may provide those services. This represents a change in the law which until January 1, 2024 permitted licensed California attorneys to provide those types of services. Effective January 1, 2024 lawyers like myself must only provide legal services in connection with the processing of adoption cases and relating to the provision of those legal services.
If an adoption facilitator (an unlicensed intermediary) or if a lawyer or a member of an organization that is not a licensed California adoption agency seeks to advertise in any periodical or newspaper, by radio, or other public medium ( presumably this would include the Internet) that he, she or it will place children for adoption or except, supplied, provide or obtain children to be adopted, or cause any advertisement to be published in or by any public medium soliciting, requesting or asking for any child or children or child to be born to be identified for adoption, those individuals are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to criminal prosecution. Any person other than a birth parent (biological parent) does any of these things without holding a valid and NOT revoked license to place children for adoption issued by the California Department of Social Services is guilty of a criminal misdemeanor. This could seriously jeopardize your adoption plans.
Now more than ever, choosing the right adoption attorney who is aware of the most current changes in the adoption law, informed about its restrictions and will not put your potential adoption in jeopardy is crucial to the success of a private adoption,
The foregoing new law does NOT apply to stepparent adoption, second parent adoption, relative adoption, adult adoption and international re-adoption cases. I am ready and able to assist you in all particulars in those cases.
My clients quickly discover that I treat them and their cases as though I am standing in their shoes. That’s because my wife and I have already walked the same path and we understand and never for a moment forget how vulnerable we felt and how worried we were about the plans we were making and what they were going to cost us–emotionally and financially.
Both my wife and I wish you success and joy as you make your family forming plan, and build your family through adoption. Whether you would like us to assist you with the legal process and piles of paperwork through finalization involved in your lawful and legal adoption of a stepson, a stepdaughter, a spouse’s child, a “significant other’s” child, a member of your extended family or relative, or with the legal paperwork so that you can readopt the child or children you adopt overseas and want to adopt again in the USA or if you are thinking about adopting another adult who has been “like family” to you and now you just want to make it official, these choices you make are all loving choices and I am happy to assist you in the manner permitted under the California law.
It is easy enough for businesses online to promote themselves as adoption specialists who “handle” all kinds of adoptions promising “full service” adoption legal services; that they are “experts” in adoption law. But the truth is that all adoption lawyers and adoption agencies are not the same and many of those “specialists” have no special training, extensive experience, or high ratings among members of the bar in terms of professional competence and ethical standards..
Adoption is first and foremost a major legal process, whether it is stepparent adoption, relative adoption, second parent adoption, adult adoption or re-adoption of a minor born outside of the USA and for whom readoption is sought so that the minor may obtain a California birth certificate. It involves state agencies, the Court system, fingerprinting and other protocols both federal and state. So it just makes sense to work with the most qualified lawyer when you want to adopt. I am here to provide my legal services to assist with your plansed as an adoption lawyer — be they for adoption or surrogacy actions.
Best of all, I can tailor my services to meet your financial realities, offer you legal services for the work you need a lawyer to help you with (if you want to try to do more of the work on your own as a cost savings measure) and help you avoid paying for a lot of unnecessary “extras.”
If you want a lawyer to guide you through the adoption legal process from start to finish, I am here for you too. I can refer you to agencies approved by the California Department of Social Services that can assist you in your search for an adoptable child or an adoption match opportunity through their auspices.
Please look further through this site to learn about my expertise, training, and compassion as an adoption and family formation lawyer and also as an adoptive parent. If I can answer any questions for you, I’m happy to do so. I’ll be glad to talk with you. When you decide to schedule an office or a ZOOM virtual visit, there is a modest fee for the initial consultation, but it’s much lower than most family formation lawyers charge to answer your questions and meet with you in person. I look forward to speaking with you.