Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Am I able to adopt without the parent's consent?

Ordinarily, California law requires that a person wishing to adopt a child get the consent of the child's biological parents, unless of course it is a stepparent adoption, in which case only one biological parent really needs to give consent.

However, California law recognizes that sometimes, it can be impossible to locate a child's parent in order to get his or her consent to an adoption. On other occasions, the parent may be around but, out of malice or some other selfish reason, simply refuses to consent to an adoption even if that parent has not been involved in a child's life.

For these reasons, although the rule is a parent must consent to his or her child's adoption, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, on a practical level, a parent who does not agree to an adoption has to at least make the effort to tell the court that he or she objects once the parent gets formal notice of the request to adopt.

Furthermore, a parent may not have standing to object to an adoption if he or she has legally abandoned his or her child, which means there really is not meaningful relationship and the parent has not made any child support payments for the child's benefits. As a word of caution, this does not mean a parent can have his or her parental rights severed just because he or she has been a little unreliable; the parent has to act as if the child in question did not truly belong to that parent.

Although it is legally possible, adopting a child when the biological parent does not agree is a difficult legal battle. For this reason, someone who wants to attempt doing so is well-advised to seek out the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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