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Adoption

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Fresno Adoption Attorney

Bringing Families Together

Parents with adopted childSo you’ve decided to expand your family by way of adoption – congratulations! Adopting a child is one of the most joyous and rewarding things you can ever do, but there is no doubt that it can also present immense financial and emotional roadblocks.

Start your adoption case with an experienced Fresno family law attorney who has an intimate understanding of state and federal adoption laws. Our team at Arnold Law Group has more than 30 years of experience navigating the various adoption procedures and requirements. We are committed to making sure our clients have an efficient adoption process that is compliant with the laws. Whatever your adoption goals, we can help you make them a reality.

Choosing the Right Type of Adoption

The first step in any adoption is determining where and from whom you want to adopt, whether in the U.S., internationally, or from a family member. There are different qualifications for each one and the overall timeframe of your adoption ultimately depends on this decision.

We can help families choose the right adoption based on their situation :

  • Domestic adoption: These adoptions occur in the U.S. and can involve children of any age. Often this is done through an agency who facilitates the process of matching a child with a family.
  • Private adoption: Rather than working through an agency, private adoptions involve direct communication between the birth and adoptive parents. Although parents have a greater level of control in selecting their child, birth parents are allowed to change their minds after the child is born.
  • Family adoptions: Often called relative adoptions, these are common in the U.S. A parent, grandparent, or step-parent takes legal and financial responsibility for another relative’s children and the biological parent must consent to the adoption.
  • International adoptions: While similar to domestic adoptions, adopting a foreign child can be more complex because another country’s government must get involved. Thus, the process can be much more time-consuming.

What Does the Adoption Process Look Like?

Depending on the type of adoption you pursue, the requirements to finalize your adoption may differ. For example, if you choose to adopt internationally, you'll be working with professionals from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which can be a much different experience than working with a private adoption agency or foster care professionals.

Many parents choose to adopt from a foster care home through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

Should you wish to adopt from an agency, research local public and private adoption agencies near you. If you choose to adopt through the CDSS, you should contact the CDSS adoptions office in your region. A representative will speak with you about the adoption process and inform you of the requirements to adopt in California. They will also refer you to an adoption orientation for prospective parents near you.

After attending the orientation, you can submit a written application to the agency or adoptions office affiliated with your adoption. At this stage, an adoption caseworker will get assigned to your adoption case. They'll work with you to understand what kind of adoption you want to carry out and attempt to match you with an adoptee that meets your needs.

Additionally, the caseworker will carry out a "family assessment" for you. This involves reviewing your criminal, medical, and employment records. The caseworker will also interview you and any other prospective parents to assess your emotional capabilities and your readiness to care for a child. Finally, they will carry out a home study to ensure that your home is ready to receive a child and would be safe for an adoptee to inhabit.

How Long Will My Adoption Take? What Will It Cost?

The cost and length of your adoption case can vary widely depending on how you choose to adopt.

For example, international adoptions are often expensive affairs. Parents may need to fly to other countries to meet a child, or may need to pay to fly a child to the U.S. Additionally, international adoption agencies often charge more than domestic adoption agencies.

Private adoptions tend to be more expensive than foster care adoptions, but, depending on the agency, may resolve more quickly.

Foster care adoptions will cost you no more than $500 in application fees, but it may take longer for an adoption caseworker to place you with a prospective adoptee who's a good fit for you and your family.

Additionally, complications that arise during the adoption process could lengthen the case. For example, if an adoption caseworker requires you to take certain parenting classes or make adjustments to your living situations before allowing you to adopt, complying with those obligations could extend your adoption case.

For these reasons, having a capable adoption lawyer by your side is vital. Our Fresno adoption attorneys can help you navigate the adoption process, working with you to prepare your life and home for a new family member.

Let's Discuss Your Family's Adoption Plan

From passing background checks and home studies to submitting paperwork and fulfilling deadlines, there are numerous requirements that adoptive parents must fulfill. Fortunately, you are not alone! Our team of Fresno family law lawyers is here for you every step of the way with legal counsel you can trust. We welcome clients who live in Madera, Tulare, Kings, and surrounding areas.

This life-changing journey is both exciting and achievable with our Fresno adoption attorneys by your side. Reach out to us today for your consultation.