There are many ways to adopt a child in California, each with different requirements to do so. If there's one commonality shared between them, it's that the child's biological parents are required to terminate their parental rights before an adoption is allowed to move forward.
Many parents of newborns who don't feel that they can adequately care for a child relinquish their parental rights to an adoptive parent with the expectation that they can give their son or daughter a better life.
There are instances where a child is raised by relatives because the parents' whereabouts are unknown. This may be the case with one or both parents. There are instances in which a mom or dad are deemed to be incapable or unable to raise their children. There is sometimes no next of kin to place them with. In instances like this, a mother or father's parental rights may be involuntarily terminated.
Under California law, a birth mother is not allowed to consent to the adoption of her child until after her discharge from the hospital. She is then given up to 10 days to change her mind after agreeing to give up the child for adoption.
Mothers who are a party to an independent adoption plan are given up to 30 days to decide if they want their child back. Any woman who signs a Waiver of the Right to Revoke is given only a day to change her mind.
Biological dads are also entitled to participate in the adoption process. If they've been identified, then they may be asked to sign a Denial of Paternity or Waiver of the Right to Notice. These both essentially allow them to relinquish their parental rights. Fathers may be given up to 30 days to contest their child's adoption once they receive notice of it.
The parents of children who are placed in foster care generally have their parental rights involuntarily terminated before adoption proceedings occur.
Understanding how parental rights work and knowing what type of consent is needed to move forward with a child's adoption here can be difficult to understand. An attorney can help you understand what you need to do to facilitate the adoption of your child.