Adult Adoption Hearing - What to do After the Hearing?

In California, the adult adoption process revolves around one crucial event: the adoption hearing. This hearing is the last time that the adoption can end in failure, and is the first time that the true intention and legality of the adoption will be probed. If successful, your adult adoption will be successfully completed and finalized.

The Adoption Hearing

The adoption hearing comes after months of preparation and careful paperwork. This is the meeting that the adoptive parent(s) and adoptee have been pushing towards throughout the adoption process and will be where the substance of their adoption request—as opposed to the process of that request—will be questioned by a judge.

The adoption hearing will be held at court on the day and at the time that the court appoints for the meeting, and will be attended by a judge, usually a Court Reporter and possibly other attorneys in the Courtroom. Other than persons with a legally recognized interest, the hearing is not open to the public. Both the adoptive parent and the adoptee are required to be in attendance, though it is wise for them to have an attorney at their side for this meeting. Consenting Spouses should also be present at the hearing.

The confidentiality of this hearing is a matter that is determined on a court-by-court basis. Some California courts conduct the adoption hearing behind closed doors, while most allow family members and even cameras into the hearing room.

During the adoption hearing, the judge presiding over the case will ask the adoptive parent and the adoptee why they are seeking an adult adoption in California. The rationale they give during the adoption hearing is compared to what was given on the paperwork they have already submitted and can be the subject of follow-up questions from the judge, especially if they become suspicious that the adoption is being pursued for ulterior motives.

The judge will also make sure that all of the legal requirements for the adoption are being met, such as the age difference between the adoptee and the adoptive parent.

What to Do After the Adoption Hearing

If the adult adoption hearing goes well, then the judge will sign the Order of Adoption, also known as the Decree of Adoption. This finalizes the Adult Adoption as legally complete. Perhaps the most important last step in the process is to obtain CERTIFIED copies of the signed Order of Adoption from the Court Clerk. In some courts, the parties are provided CERTIFIED copies of the Judge's signed order before they leave the hearing room. In other Courts, the parties (or their Attorney) must follow-up with the Clerk making the written request and paying for the CERTIFIED copies.

The CERTIFIED copy of the Judge's signed Order of Adoption is what you will use to change your name on your Driver's License, extend insurance benefits, change school records and/or survivor - next of kin documents. Therefore, you should obtain the CERTIFIED copy of the Judge's signed Order of Adoption and keep it in a safe place, just as you would a birth certificate.

John J. Pearson: Adult Adoption Attorney in California

Just getting to the adult adoption hearing is not an easy thing to do: the paperwork has to be perfect and will be denied if it is not. Convincing the judge that you are just trying to bring your family together and that the adoption is not being done for any other reason, can take an attorney.

Reach out to John J. Pearson, Esq. for the help you need. Contact him online.