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The most amazing gift that a person can give a child is love. While many children are fortunate enough to receive this gift from biological parents or other guardians, far too many go without the comfort of knowing that someone loves them.

This is why adoption is one of the most selfless and compassionate choices that a person can make. Unfortunately, adoption can be a complicated, long, and expensive legal process—far more so than it should be. This is why Toeppen & Grevious does everything it can to help people throughout Northern California navigate the adoption process and become legal parents. We consider adoptions to be some of our most gratifying and rewarding cases, and give them our full and undivided attention.

We have helped prospective adoptive parents become legal guardians of children in a variety of different situations, including:

  • Adopting children through American adoption facilitators;
  • Independent adoptions;
  • Stepparents who wish to become adoptive parents;
  • Same-sex partners who seek to become legal guardians to their partner’s child(ren).

If you would like to become the adoptive parent of a child, but are uncertain as to where to begin, please contact Toeppen & Grevious to schedule a consultation.

We will be happy to walk you through the adoption process, and explain what we can do to make it as simple as possible.

Adopting Stepchildren

While it is readily apparent to most that adopting a parentless child is a complicated process, many overlook how difficult it can be for a step-parent to adopt a child with whom they have had a loving parental relationship, and have spent years raising, teaching, protecting, and caring for. The California Legal Code establishes a number of legal requirements that step-parents must fulfill, in order to eligible to adopt a partner’s child. Some of these requirements include:

  • Being the legal spouse or domestic partner of the child’s biological parent;
  • Being at least 18 years old;
  • Being at least 10 years older than the child in question (though sometimes this requirement can be waived);
  • Receiving the written and notarized consent of the child’s other biological parent, or showing that the other parent has abandoned their child or failed to fulfill duties such as paying child support;
  • Receiving the written consent of prospective adoptees who are 12 years of age or more.
  • If you are a step-parent who would like to adopt your partner’s child, please contact Toeppen & Grevious to schedule a consultation. We will walk you through the adoption process, tell you what to expect, and help you address any potential legal difficulties that might arise.