Domestic adoption, also referred to as independent or private adoption, refers to adoption of a child born within the United States by adoptive parents who are United States citizens. Domestic adoption can refer to infant adoption or adoption of older children. In either case the expectant parent(s) will choose the couple they wish to place their child with. Domestic adoption can be either open or closed, depending on the level of contact both the expectant parent(s) and adoptive parent(s) are comfortable with. PCAA provides legal services throughout the entire process.
Stepparent and Relative Adoption
Stepparent adoption takes place when a stepparent adopts his or her stepchild, the biological child of his or her spouse. This type of adoption can proceed with or without the consent of an absent birth parent, as long as certain legal processes are followed. Relative adoption is available when a court determines it is in the best interest of the child for an adult relative to adopt the child. Both Stepparent and Relative adoption allow for adoption finalization without having to complete a full home study. Instead, a county social worker will write a report and provide a recommendation to the Judge.
Foster Care Adoption
While many adoption services are provided free of charge to foster care families, PCAA can work with foster families when they are ready to finalize their adoption. Placement for foster care adoption is done through the County Department of Social Services. You can learn more about foster care in Ventura County here.
PCAA does not facilitate international adoptions. By law, you need to use the services of an adoption agency with specific in-country contacts to facilitate your adoption. We are happy to provide you with a list of reputable adoption agencies that can help you with this process. Once you bring your child home, you will need to “re-adopt” them in the United States in order to obtain a United States birth certificate. PCAA can help you with this process.
Embryo adoption (or donation) Is a fairly new form of adoption. Many times, after a couple is done growing their family through In Vitro Fertilization, they will have additional frozen embryos. When a couple wishes to give those embryos a chance at life, they can place their embryos for adoption! This is an amazing, more cost effective path to parenting for women who wish (and are able to) carry a child, but have been unable to conceive naturally. PCAA will represent you when contracting with the donor couple to adopt their unused embryos. There are many legal concerns that will need to be addressed in this contracting phase, and PCAA will ensure that all parties are comfortable with the arrangement prior to the embryos being transferred into the adoptive parents control. Please note that unused embryos cannot be “sold” – the only costs associated with this type of adoption include legal fees, counseling fees, and your medical and storage costs once you adopt the embryos.
Assisted Reproduction and Mediation Services
Surrogacy can be an amazing gift for couples who are unable to conceive on their own. It can also lead to conflict between the intended parents and the gestational carrier. PCAA offers both representation for gestational surrogacy agreements as well as mediation services for intended parents and gestational carriers dealing with difficulties during pregnancy.