What is an adult adoption? How do you adopt an adult in Los Angeles County?
Adoption isn't just for children. Actually, adult adoption (adopting a person aged 18 or over) is quite common. But many people still wonder, "Can I adopt an adult?" (Randy is an attorney who limits his practice to adult adoption, and he serves the entire Los Angeles County area.)
Adopting an adult person creates a parent and child relationship, and legally terminates the parental relationship of the parent who is being displaced. After adoption, the same benefits and responsibilities exist as if the adoptee was born to the adopting parent.
Adult Step Parent Adoption Is the most common type of adult adoption.
Most adult adoptions are by a step parent. Often they did not do the adoption when the adoptee was a child due to the fact the absent parent would not consent. An adult adoption does not require the absent parent's consent, however. Also, if desired, an adult adoption even gives you the chance to do a free name change (such as the adoptee taking the last name of the adopting parent). But not every adult adoption is a step parent adoption, as where the adoptee has formed a strong relationship with replacement parenting figures, whether a couple, or a single woman or man.
Does Los Angeles County require a home study or investigation?
No. Because there are no children involved, there is no legal requirement for a home study or investigation in adult adoptions. This saves time and money. Without the requirement of a home study or investigation, most of Randy's clients are are able to finalize their adoption without ever having to go to court, and take only one-two months of starting the process.
What paperwork is required when adopting an adult in Los Angeles County?
The only negative thing when you adopt an adult is it actually involves more legal paperwork than some other types of adoption. The Los Angeles Superior Court does not have pre-printed forms for adult adoption as exists for the adoption of a minor, as the laws and procedures are completely different. This mean that each document must be custom drafted, outside the realm of most non-attorneys. Randy's job is to do all those forms, so all you have to do is sign them. There are usually 8-10 documents to be prepared and filed, including the Adult Petition for Adoption (to see a sample click here), the Adult Adoption Agreement, the Spousal Consent to Adult Adoption (if the adoptive parent or adoptee is married), the Order of Adoption, and the VS-44 (to create the amended birth certificate if desired). All this is done for the flat legal fee of $1,850. In the rare cases where the adoptee wants to be adopted and also have their existing parents keep their parental rights (so the adoptee could have three or four legal parents) this is now possible effective January 1, 2020 due to a new law Randy co-authored. This involves additional legal paperwork and an extra fee of $275.
Does adult adoption terminate the rights of the existing parent(s)?
Yes and no. Adoption does terminate the parent and child relationship of existing parents at the time the adoptive parent's rights are created by adoption. One parent's right end when the other parent's rights begin. However, if it is a stepparent adult adoption - let's say the adopting parent is the husband of the adoptee's mother - then the spouse of the adopting parent (the mom in this example) automatically keeps her parental rights intact. Only the birth father's rights would end in this example.
So until recently, adult adoption would terminate the rights of the "absent" parent. Now, thanks to a new law Randy wrote and successfully had passed by the California legislature [Family Code section 9306(c)], it is now possible to do an adoption by one or two adoption parents, and NOT terminate the existing parent(s)' or rights, if that is the desire of the person being adopted. This Eans there can be three or four legal parents, and all can even be listed on the new birth certificate if the adoptee elects to get an amended birth certificate. There is an additional legal fee of $275 if you wish this option, as there is extra legal paperwork that must be done to accomplish this. To take advantage of this new law and not terminate existing parent(s)' rights, it does NOT require any involvement, or notice to, the existing parent(s).
How much does adult adoption cost, and what are Randy's qualifications?
Randy has been an adoption attorney for 36 years, limiting his practice to adoption. He has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, is profiled on Wikipedia, and has a 5-star client rating on Avvo, Yelp and Google. He has the highest possible rating of "preeminent" from Martindale Hubbell. He is a member of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers. Please see the links below for client reviews and to view his credentials, or learn about his background and experience at About Randy. Randy charges a flat fee of $1,850 to do a standard adult adoption (compared to most attorneys who charge hourly - check around and you will see most attorneys charge about double that fee, and without the security to you of the flat fee). With a flat fee you will know the exact cost of your adoption in advance. His fee includes the preparation of all required legal documents, setting the hearing date and appearing with you in court. There is no required investigation (so no fee), and Randy pays the court filing fee, so no expense to you.
How Do We Get Started?
The initial consultation with Randy is free (very detailed, 30-40 minutes) and is done by Zoom. If you have a quick question first, you can email him at [email protected]
Before Randy schedules your consultation, however, he must first have you complete an on online questionnaire. This gives him more information about your case, so he can advise you fully during your consultation. You can complete and submit it online below. Upon receiving it, Randy will contact you promptly.
The Stepparent Adoption Center
15260 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1200
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(Also serving surrounding counties.)
Read all 150+ reviews on Avvo.com
Professional, knowledgeable and kind
Posted by Shyla, May 22, 2022
We are genuinely grateful for the adoption expertise we had with Randy. He was very professional, prompt and kind throughout. We did an adult adoption with our former foster daughter who resides out of state. All went smooth. I highly recommend his services if you’re looking for an adoption lawyer!
Excellent from A to Z
Posted by Paul, June 21, 2022
Randall took care of all the details in a very professional manner. He anticipated our concerns and explained thoroughly what the sequence of events would be.
Posted by Delaney, April 10, 2022
Randy did an excellent job with our step parent adoption. He was friendly, responsive, very thorough, and his fees were fair. We are extremely grateful and truly appreciate him. Thank you Randy!!!!
Posted by Carolyn, January 7, 2022
From the start of our consultation up to the date of our court appearance, everything was done efficiently by Randall. We are very satisfied with the way he processed our adoption case.