Hello everyone. My name is Frances Gutierrez. I’m an attorney here at the firm. I have been talking about adoptions, step-parent adoptions and independent relative adoptions. In both types of adoptions, the court here in Ventura county can order that an attorney be appointed to represent the interest of the parents whose rights are being subject to a termination proceeding. That court-appointed attorney is from a group called dependent family advocates, or DFA, and they are usually appointed by the judge to represent the parent’s parental rights.
The other item I want to talk about is the requirement of certain local forms that need to be filed with the underlying petition. There are both local county court forms and state judicial council forms that must be filed. For instance, the local court form is a citation hearing that requires that to be filed with the underlying petition. For example, the judicial council form. There are Indian inquiry forms that must be filed disclosing whether or not the minor child or the parents have any Indian ancestry in their bloodline, and if so, then you mark the appropriate categories on the form if it doesn’t apply then you simply inform the court that it doesn’t apply. If the court has any further requests to Indian ancestry then you must do your due diligence to notify the appropriate tribes that may apply and inform them of the proceeding.
Another item I want to talk about are discovery tools. Both the petitioning parents or the petitioning relatives and the other parent, presumed parent or the biological parents, can propound discovery, that is usually form interrogatories or request for admissions or demand for production of documents. You also have available as a discovery tool a deposition if that becomes necessary.
If you’re interested in learning more about adoptions, please contact our office. Our contact information is on our Law Firm website. Thank you.