Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoption

While the law of adult adoption is the same throughout California, every courthouse in the state has its own set of procedures that are unique in their own way. As a result, what works in one courthouse might be frowned upon but accepted in another, and dismissed out of hand in a third. Therefore, it is important to know the protocol for the adult adoption procedure in the courthouse in which you will be heard.

Here is how the adult adoption process happens in the Los Angeles County Court.

Court Forms

The first step to getting an adult adoption is to fill out the necessary court forms. The Forms generally consist of the Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoption Agreement, Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoption Petition, Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoption Spousal Consent Form and the Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoption Decree or Order.

Los Angeles County Superior Court is a hybrid court when it comes to Adult Adoptions. Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoptions currently use the pleading paper for many of the documents that must be filed (that's the paper with the numbered lines). However, the Court also uses it own local Forms for certain aspects of the process such as scheduling and case designation. Los Angeles County Superior Court has not implemented the Judicial Council Form Adopt-210 for Adult Adoptions, unlike some other Counties in California.

If the Adult Adoptee wishes to have an amended birth certificate issued with the Adoptive Parents' name listed, then they need to acquire a Court Report of Adoption, Form VS-44. This form MUST be completely filled out prior to filing it with the Court, except for the blanks that are intended for the Court Clerk to complete. The Court Clerk will not make any changes to the Form VS-44 for the Adoptee. The duty of the Court Clerk is merely to fill in the box that certifies where and when the Adult Adoption took place, then to forward the Form VS-44 Court Report of Adoption to the State of California Vital Statistics. Vital Statistics will send the new amended birth certificate to the name and address that you have placed on the Form VS-44. The process to receive the amended birth certificate may take up to a year or more after the adoption hearing.

Adoption Hearing

At the adoption hearing, the parties will be placed under oath ("sworn in") in a formal Courtroom environment. The judge may ask questions about why both parties want to formally create a parent-child relationship. The judge will make sure that the adult adoption is not against public policy, does not break any rules and that all of the information provided is accurate. Although Adult Adoption proceedings are not open to the public, the Judge has the authority to allow any person to be heard or evidence to be considered that is relevant to the Adult Adoption. Based on the information at the hearing, the Judge can grant or deny it, so having a lawyer on hand during this hearing can make a huge difference.

The Adoption Order

After the hearing, the judge will fill out and sign the Adoption Order, also known as the Decree of Adoption. Unlike many other Counties in California, the Clerk in Los Angeles County Superior Court Adult Adoptions provides certified copies of the Adoption Order before you leave the Courtroom. The certified copy of the Adult Adoption Order allows the Adoptee to make any desired changes such as at the DMV, Schools, Employment or with Insurance companies. The certified copy of the Adult Adoption Order or Decree should be kept in a safe place the same as a birth certificate or passport.

Los Angeles Adult Adoption Attorney John J. Pearson

Unfortunately, there are numerous pitfalls in this process, and even the smallest slip up can put an adult adoption request back to square one. Hiring a California adult adoption attorney like John J. Pearson can ensure everything goes smoothly. Contact his law office online to get started.