If you do not reside in California but would like our assistance in locating a birth mother and/or an adoptable infant, we can be of help to you. This firm specializes in helping couples locate and match with women seeking to place their infants for adoption. We often represent adoptive parents but also are called upon from time to time to represent birth parents. With the availability of infants being limited in many states, out-of-state families often retain this office to assist them in finding a suitable birth mother from whom to adopt.
In September 30, 2002 California became even more adoption friendly when Governor Gray Davis signed Assembly Bill 746 into law permitting non-residents to have access to the adoption courts of the state of California. Under the newly enacted law, non-residents who enter into an adoption plan with birth parents residing in California may finalize their adoptions in California even if the adoptive parents do not own or rent in California and even if they come into the state solely to pick up their adoptive child. This change in the law may also be helpful in cases where the alleged birth father would have greater rights in a state other than California as California law’s concerning birth fathers tend to favor the adoptive parents over the birth father especially if he has not been meaningfully involved and financially supportive of the mother during her pregnancy.
The residency requirement for birth parents is that the birth parent must be a resident of the state of California at the time after the baby is born when she or they either: 1.) Relinquish to a licensed California adoption agency or 2.) When they sign a consent to adoption. Adoptive parents who live outside of California may then petition to finalize their adoption in California. When the adoption was ultimately finalized in California, the adoptive parents would not have to re-finalize in their home state!
The new law requires non-resident adoptive parents to present a completed and current home study report conducted and approved by a licensed adoption agency or other authorized resource in the state in which the petitioners reside (their home state). If the home study’s contents meet the standards required by the California Department of Social Services which defines and regulates the contents of acceptable home studies, the placement would likely be approved. The out of state home study will then be reviewed and, if appropriate, approved by a local California agency or a representative office of the California Department of Social Services.
Pursuant to existing California law, the adoptive parents would be required to return to California with the child who is the subject of the adoption petition for finalization of the adoption before a judge in court approximately 180 days after the placement of the child into their custody for adoption purposes.
Our office advertises to attract pregnant women who are thinking of placing children for adoption to call us. We network with adoption attorneys and health care professionals throughout the United States who periodically request our help in locating adoptive parents to match with birth mothers in their practices. We find birth mothers for the vast majority of our clients often within three to six months of the date when they first start actively seeking birth mothers.
Because so many of our birth mothers come to our clients through advertising, we assist our clients in drafting advertisement copy, in locating newspapers where a good response is expected and in placing those ads. We screen calls from birth mothers. We help our clients write a letter or resume which is mailed to birth mothers who respond to the advertising and shown to birth mothers who visit my office seeking adoptive parents. Those letters include an assortment of photographs which we help you select which we share with the birth mother to provide her with a sense of who you are and what you have to offer as parents.
Birth mothers who work with our clients are carefully screened and the information they provide is, to the extent permissible, verified. They are required to submit to testing for HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, drugs and alcohol. They provide us with authorizations which we use to obtain their medical records. They complete lengthy questionnaires about their family history, health history, educational history, employment history and social history. We promptly share all of the completed forms with our clients to help then learn the most about the birth mothers with whom they are thinking of matching and so that ultimately the adopted child will be able to be told a lot about his or her roots and background. As an adoptive parent, I appreciate how important it is for adoptive couples to know as much about their child’s history as possible and how important it is for the growing child to be able to have her/his questions about their biological family answered thoroughly and accurately.
Special considerations are required when dealing with clients from other states. Because newspaper advertising for adoption is forbidden in some states (as it is in California) we will assist you in locating a birth mother without violating any of your home state laws. It is still possible that your birth mother may come from your home state as many birth mothers come to this office and its clients by means other than advertising.
Additionally, if we locate a birth mother in a state where you do not need to be a resident to finalize your adoption (for example Oregon) then we will assist you in making arrangements with skilled attorneys in the birth mother’s home state who will finalize your adoption. If your birth mother gives birth in a state where you cannot finalize the adoption because you are not a resident of that state then we will assist you in connecting with an experienced and well qualified attorney or a licensed agency in your home state to finalize your adoption. At the same time we will assist with compliance with all federal laws which apply when a baby born in one state is to be adopted by a couple from another state.
My fees for the foregoing services are charged on an hourly basis. Clients receive monthly bills reflecting the date services were performed, the time spent in performing those services a detailed description of the services provided and the cost. We require a retainer before starting our work and the monthly charges are subtracted from the retainer. You will find our payment programs to be quite reasonable. Retainers may be paid by check or credit card. Most of our clients are able to match long before the retainer is exhausted.
We represent clients of all races, ages, and backgrounds. We would be pleased to assist you, as we have other couples, in your efforts to adopt.