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Adoption and termination of parental rights

It is common for adoptive parents to secure the agreement and signature of the birthparent. By doing this, the birthparent gives up all parental rights, duties and responsibilities, which are then taken over by the adoptive parent. However, sometimes getting the consent of the other parent is difficult or not possible.

A parent’s rights are among the most protected by law in the United States.  That is why, with few exceptions, a parent must consent to adoption before a child is legally placed with another family.

Unfit parents rights can be terminated

There are a variety of reasons why a parent’s rights can be terminated in California. These include:  this child has been left without provision for the child’s identification by the child’s parent or parents; the child has been left by both parents or the sole parent in the care and custody of another person for a period of six months without any provision for the child’s support, or without communication from the parent or parents, with the intent on the part of the parent or parents to abandon the child; or, one parent has left the child in the care and custody of the other parent for a period of one year without the provision for the child’s support, or without communication from the parent, with the intent on the part of the parent to abandon the child.

Parental rights can also be terminated through a Dependency Court action.  A child is brought to the attention of the dependency court typically by neglect or abuse.

Presumed fathers rights

The presumed father is the legal father of the child.  This father is either married to the birth mother or his name is on the baby’s birth certificate.  Sometimes he is not the biological father of the child.  The consent of a presumed father is required for a child to be freed for adoption.  Take heart, though.  The Court has the power to decide when a presumed father has been given proper legal notice and has not responded to the action, that the Court can proceed with the case.  Presumed fathers must be notified; however, if they do not respond, the Court can move forward.

A long and complicated process

Family building is extremely rewarding, but it can be a long and difficult process when parental consent is an issue. Skillfully navigating the legal details of the process, an experienced family law attorney’s guidance can be indispensable as you embark upon this undertaking.