Adoption is the legal process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child’s biological or birth parent. That means that once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents have all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. That new parent-child relationship is permanent and is exactly the same as that of a birth family. An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood.


Types of Adoptions

Stepparent/domestic partner adoption:
•The spouse or domestic partner of the child’s parent adopts that child.
•The couple must be legally married or registered as domestic partners.
•It is the most common type of adoption.
•It is a little simpler than other types because one of the child’s birth parents still remains the child’s parent.

An independent, agency, or international adoption:
Independent adoption is when no adoption agency or the Department of Social Services is part of the adoption case.
Agency adoption is when the California Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency is part of the adoption case.
International adoption is when the child to be adopted was born in another country.
In all these three types, the court ends the parental rights of the child’s two birth parents, and the adoptive parents become the children’s legal parents.



Under a guardianship is where the court appoints an adult person, entity or institution to care for the person and/or the estate of a minor. A guardianship is used only for a minor. A minor who is legally married or divorced, cannot have a guardian appointed. A minor for whom a guardian has been appointed is called a “ward”. The guardian is the person appointed by the court to care for the ward. Guardianships may be temporary, meaning for a limited time, or they may be general.

A guardianship may be created for the care of a minor, or the estate of a minor, or for both. A guardian must preserve the minor’s estate for the minor’s benefit and anyone the minor is obligated to support. The guardian has a direct responsibility to the best interests of the minor just as a parent would for his or her own child.

A guardian is subject to the regulations and control of the court in performing his or her duties. Before a guardian can be appointed, the court will conduct an investigation to determine whether the appointment of the guardian will be in the best interests of the child. The investigator may interview the child, the proposed guardian, and review the background and history of the proposed guardian. A confidential report will be prepared for the court to consider in evaluating whether to appoint the proposed guardian to care for the minor.

If you are facing any family law issues, please contact our office to make an initial consultation appointment. With an office in Simi Valley, we can provide services in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.