Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 13. ADOPTION [8500 - 9340]

  ( Division 13 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 2. ADOPTION OF UNMARRIED MINORS [8600 - 9213]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [8600 - 8622]
  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

8600.
  

An unmarried minor may be adopted by an adult as provided in this part.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8600.5.
  

Tribal customary adoption as defined in Section 366.24 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and as applied to Indian Children who are dependents of the court, does not apply to this part.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 9. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8601.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), a prospective adoptive parent or parents shall be at least 10 years older than the child.

(b) If the court is satisfied that the adoption of a child by a stepparent, or by a sister, brother, aunt, uncle, or first cousin and, if that person is married, by that person and that person’s spouse, is in the best interest of the parties and is in the public interest, it may approve the adoption without regard to the ages of the child and the prospective adoptive parent or parents.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8601.5.
  

(a) A court may issue an order of adoption and declare that it shall be entered nunc pro tunc when it will serve public policy and the best interests of the child, such as cases where adoption finalization has been delayed beyond the child’s 18th birthday due to factors beyond the control of the prospective adoptive family and the proposed adoptee.

(b) The request for nunc pro tunc entry of the order shall be stated in the adoption request or an amendment thereto, and shall set forth specific facts in support thereof.

(c) To the extent that a child’s eligibility for any publicly funded benefit program is or could be altered by the entry of an order of adoption, the change in eligibility shall not be determined as of the nunc pro tunc date, but shall be determined as of the date of the adoption finalization hearing.

(d) The nunc pro tunc date shall not precede the date upon which the parental rights of the birth parent or parents were initially terminated, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 462, Sec. 6. (AB 687) Effective January 1, 2012.)

8602.
  

The consent of a child, if over the age of 12 years, is necessary to the child’s adoption.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8603.
  

(a) A married person, not lawfully separated from the person’s spouse, shall not adopt a child without the consent of the spouse, provided that the spouse is capable of giving that consent.

(b) The consent of the spouse shall not establish any parental rights or responsibilities on the part of the consenting spouse unless he or she has consented to adopt the child in a writing filed with the court and is named in the final decree as an adoptive parent. The court shall not name the consenting spouse as an adoptive parent in the final decree unless the consenting spouse has filed a written consent to adopt the child with the court and has an approved adoption home study.

(c) The court may dispense with the consent of a spouse who cannot be located after diligent search, or a spouse determined by the court to lack the capacity to consent. A spouse for whom consent was dispensed shall not be named as an adoptive parent in the final decree.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 763, Sec. 7. (AB 1701) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8604.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a child having a presumed father under Section 7611 shall not be adopted without the consent of the child’s birth parents, if living. The consent of a presumed father is not required for the child’s adoption unless he became a presumed father as described in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 7540) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2 of Division 12, or subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 7611 before the mother’s relinquishment or consent becomes irrevocable or before the mother’s parental rights have been terminated.

(b) If one birth parent has been awarded custody by judicial order, or has custody by agreement of both parents, and the other birth parent for a period of one year willfully fails to communicate with, and to pay for, the care, support, and education of the child when able to do so, then the birth parent having sole custody may consent to the adoption, but only after the birth parent not having custody has been served with a copy of a citation in the manner provided by law for the service of a summons in a civil action that requires the birth parent not having custody to appear at the time and place set for the appearance in court under Section 8718, 8823, 8913, or 9007.

(c) Failure of a birth parent to pay for the care, support, and education of the child for the period of one year or failure of a birth parent to communicate with the child for the period of one year is prima facie evidence that the failure was willful and without lawful excuse. If the birth parent or parents have made only token efforts to support or communicate with the child, the court may disregard those token efforts.

(d) (1) If the birth mother of a child for whom there is not a presumed father leaves the child in the physical care of a licensed private adoption agency, in the physical care of a prospective adoptive parent who has an approved preplacement evaluation or private agency adoption home study, or in the hospital after designating a licensed private adoption agency or an approved prospective adoptive parent in a signed document, completed with a hospital social worker, adoption service provider, licensed private adoption agency worker, notary, or attorney, but fails to sign a placement agreement, consent, or relinquishment for adoption, the approved prospective adoptive parent or the licensed private adoption agency may apply for, and the court may issue, a temporary custody order placing the child in the care and custody of the applicant.

(2) A temporary custody order issued pursuant to this subdivision shall include all of the following:

(A) A requirement that the applicant keep the court informed of the child’s residence at all times.

(B) A requirement that the child shall not be removed from the state or concealed within the state.

(C) The expiration date of the order, which shall not be more than six months after the order is issued.

(3) A temporary custody order issued pursuant to this subdivision may be voided upon the birth mother’s request to have the child returned to her care and custody.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 763, Sec. 8. (AB 1701) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8605.
  

A child not having a presumed father under Section 7611 may not be adopted without the consent of the child’s mother, if living.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8606.
  

Notwithstanding Sections 8604 and 8605, the consent of a birth parent is not necessary in the following cases:

(a) Where the birth parent has been judicially deprived of the custody and control of the child (1) by a court order declaring the child to be free from the custody and control of either or both birth parents pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of this code, or Section 366.25 or 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or (2) by a similar order of a court of another jurisdiction, pursuant to a law of that jurisdiction authorizing the order.

(b) Where the birth parent has, in a judicial proceeding in another jurisdiction, voluntarily surrendered the right to the custody and control of the child pursuant to a law of that jurisdiction providing for the surrender.

(c) Where the birth parent has deserted the child without provision for identification of the child.

(d) Where the birth parent has relinquished the child for adoption as provided in Section 8700.

(e) Where the birth parent has relinquished the child for adoption to a licensed or authorized child-placing agency in another jurisdiction pursuant to the law of that jurisdiction.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8606.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other section in this part, and in accordance with Section 1913 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), consent to adoption given by an Indian child’s parent is not valid unless both of the following occur:

(1) The consent is executed in writing at least 10 days after the child’s birth and recorded before a judge.

(2) The judge certifies that the terms and consequences of the consent were fully explained in detail in English and were fully understood by the parent or that they were interpreted into a language that the parent understood.

(b) The parent of an Indian child may withdraw his or her consent to adoption for any reason at any time prior to the entry of a final decree of adoption and the child shall be returned to the parent.

(c) After the entry of a final decree of adoption of an Indian child, the Indian child’s parent may withdraw consent to the adoption upon the grounds that consent was obtained through fraud or duress and may petition the court to vacate such decree. Upon a finding that such consent was obtained through fraud or duress, the court shall vacate such decree and return the child to the parent, provided that no adoption that has been effective for at least 2 years may be invalidated unless otherwise permitted under state law.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 838, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2007.)

8607.
  

All forms adopted by the department authorizing the release of an infant from a health facility to the custody of persons other than the person entitled to custody of the child pursuant to Section 3010 and authorizing these other persons to obtain medical care for the infant shall contain a statement in boldface type delineating the various types of adoptions available, the birth parents’ rights with regard thereto, including, but not limited to, rights with regard to revocation of consent to adoption, and a statement regarding the authority of the court under Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 to declare the child abandoned by the birth parent or parents.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8608.
  

(a) The department shall adopt regulations specifying the form and content of the reports required by Sections 8706, 8817, and 8909. In addition to any other material that may be required by the department, the form shall include inquiries designed to elicit information on any illness, disease, or defect of a genetic or hereditary nature.

(b) All county adoption agencies and licensed adoption agencies shall cooperate with and assist the department in devising a plan that will effectuate the effective and discreet transmission to adoptees or prospective adoptive parents of pertinent medical information reported to the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency, upon the request of the person reporting the medical information.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 10. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8609.
  

(a) Any person or organization that, without holding a valid and unrevoked license to place children for adoption issued by the department, advertises in any periodical or newspaper, by radio, or other public medium, that he, she, or it will place children for adoption, or accept, supply, provide, or obtain children for adoption, or that causes any advertisement to be published in or by any public medium soliciting, requesting, or asking for any child or children for adoption is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) Any person, other than a birth parent, or any organization, association, or corporation that, without holding a valid and unrevoked license to place children for adoption issued by the department, places any child for adoption is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8609.5.
  

An adoption request for the adoption of a nondependent minor may be filed with the court in the county in which one of the following applies:

(a) The petitioner resides.

(b) The child was born or resides at the time of filing.

(c) An office of the agency that placed the child for adoption is located.

(d) An office of the department or a public adoption agency that is investigating the petition is located.

(e) The county in which a placing birth parent or parents resided when the adoptive placement agreement, consent, or relinquishment was signed.

(f) The county in which a placing birth parent or parents resided when the petition was filed.

(g) The county in which the child was freed for adoption.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 638, Sec. 6. (AB 1757) Effective January 1, 2013.)

8610.
  

(a) The petitioners in a proceeding for adoption of a child shall file with the court a full accounting report of all disbursements of anything of value made or agreed to be made by them or on their behalf in connection with the birth of the child, the placement of the child with the petitioners, any medical or hospital care received by the child’s birth mother or by the child in connection with the child’s birth, any other expenses of either birth parent, or the adoption. The accounting report shall be made under penalty of perjury and shall be submitted to the court on or before the date set for the hearing on the adoption petition, unless the court grants an extension of time.

(b) The accounting report shall be itemized in detail and shall show the services relating to the adoption or to the placement of the child for adoption that were received by the petitioners, by either birth parent, by the child, or by any other person for whom payment was made by or on behalf of the petitioners. The report shall also include the dates of each payment, the names and addresses of each attorney, physician and surgeon, hospital, licensed adoption agency, or other person or organization who received any funds of the petitioners in connection with the adoption or the placement of the child with them, or participated in any way in the handling of those funds, either directly or indirectly.

(c) This section does not apply to an adoption by a stepparent where one birth parent or adoptive parent retains custody and control of the child.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8611.
  

All court hearings in an adoption proceeding shall be held in private, and the court shall exclude all persons except the officers of the court, the parties, their witnesses, counsel, and representatives of the agencies present to perform their official duties under the law governing adoptions.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8612.
  

(a) The court shall examine all persons appearing before it pursuant to this part. The examination of each person shall be conducted separately but within the physical presence of every other person unless the court, in its discretion, orders otherwise.

(b) The prospective adoptive parent or parents shall execute and acknowledge an agreement in writing that the child will be treated in all respects as their lawful child.

(c) If satisfied that the interest of the child will be promoted by the adoption, the court may make and enter an order of adoption of the child by the prospective adoptive parent or parents.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8613.
  

(a) If the prospective adoptive parent is commissioned or enlisted in the military service, or auxiliary thereof, of the United States, or of any of its allies, or is engaged in service on behalf of any governmental entity of the United States, or in the American Red Cross, or in any other recognized charitable or religious organization, so that it is impossible or impracticable, because of the prospective adoptive parent’s absence from this state, or otherwise, to make an appearance in person, and the circumstances are established by satisfactory evidence, the appearance may be made for the prospective adoptive parent by counsel, commissioned and empowered in writing for that purpose. The power of attorney may be incorporated in the adoption petition.

(b) Where the prospective adoptive parent is permitted to appear by counsel, the agreement may be executed and acknowledged by the counsel, or may be executed by the absent party before a notary public, or any other person authorized to take acknowledgments including the persons authorized by Sections 1183 and 1183.5 of the Civil Code.

(c) Where the prospective adoptive parent is permitted to appear by counsel, or otherwise, the court may, in its discretion, cause an examination of the prospective adoptive parent, other interested person, or witness to be made upon deposition, as it deems necessary. The deposition shall be taken upon commission, as prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure, and the expense thereof shall be borne by the petitioner.

(d) The petition, relinquishment or consent, agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency, and any power of attorney and deposition shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court.

(e) The provisions of this section permitting an appearance through counsel are equally applicable to the spouse of a prospective adoptive parent who resides with the prospective adoptive parent outside this state.

(f) Where, pursuant to this section, neither prospective adoptive parent need appear before the court, the child proposed to be adopted need not appear. If the law otherwise requires that the child execute any document during the course of the hearing, the child may do so through counsel.

(g) Where none of the parties appears, the court may not make an order of adoption until after a report has been filed with the court pursuant to Section 8715, 8807, 8914, or 9001.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 109. Effective January 1, 2003.)

8613.5.
  

(a) (1) If it is impossible or impracticable for either prospective adoptive parent to make an appearance in person, and the circumstances are established by clear and convincing documentary evidence, the court may, in its discretion, do either of the following:

(A) Waive the personal appearance of the prospective adoptive parent. The appearance may be made for the prospective adoptive parent by counsel, commissioned and empowered in writing for that purpose. The power of attorney may be incorporated in the adoption petition.

(B) Authorize the prospective adoptive parent to appear by telephone, videoconference, or other remote electronic means that the court deems reasonable, prudent, and reliable.

(2) For purposes of this section, if the circumstances that make an appearance in person by a prospective adoptive parent impossible or impracticable are temporary in nature or of a short duration, the court shall not waive the personal appearance of that prospective adoptive parent.

(b) If the prospective adoptive parent is permitted to appear by counsel, the agreement may be executed and acknowledged by the counsel, or may be executed by the absent party before a notary public, or any other person authorized to take acknowledgments including the persons authorized by Sections 1183 and 1183.5 of the Civil Code.

(c) If the prospective adoptive parent is permitted to appear by counsel, or otherwise, the court may, in its discretion, cause an examination of the prospective adoptive parent, other interested person, or witness to be made upon deposition, as it deems necessary. The deposition shall be taken upon commission, as prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure, and the expense thereof shall be borne by the petitioner.

(d) The petition, relinquishment or consent, agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency, and any power of attorney and deposition shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court.

(e) The provisions of this section permitting an appearance by counsel or electronically pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) are equally applicable to the spouse of a prospective adoptive parent who resides with the prospective adoptive parent outside this state.

(f) If, pursuant to this section, neither prospective adoptive parent need appear before the court, the child proposed to be adopted need not appear. If the law otherwise requires that the child execute any document during the course of the hearing, the child may do so through counsel.

(g) If none of the parties appear, the court may not make an order of adoption until after a report has been filed with the court pursuant to Section 8715, 8807, 8914, or 9001.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 763, Sec. 9. (AB 1701) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8613.7.
  

On and after January 1, 2014, the court shall provide to any petitioner for adoption pursuant to this part a notice informing him or her that he or she may be eligible for reduced-cost coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange established under Title 22 (commencing with Section 100500) of the Government Code or no-cost coverage through Medi-Cal. The notice shall include information on obtaining coverage pursuant to those programs, and shall be developed by the California Health Benefit Exchange.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 851, Sec. 2. (AB 792) Effective January 1, 2013.)

8614.
  

Upon the request of the adoptive parents or the adopted child, a clerk of the superior court may issue a certificate of adoption that states the date and place of adoption, the birthday of the child, the names of the adoptive parents, and the name the child has taken. Unless the child has been adopted by a stepparent or by a relative, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 8616.5, the certificate shall not state the name of the birth parents of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 251, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2004.)

8615.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, an action may be brought in the county in which the petitioner resides for the purpose of obtaining for a child adopted by the petitioner a new birth certificate specifying that a deceased spouse of the petitioner who was in the home at the time of the initial placement of the child is a parent of the child.

(b) In an adoption proceeding, the petitioner may request that the new birth certificate specify that a deceased spouse of the petitioner who was in the home at the time of the initial placement of the child is a parent of the child.

(c) The inclusion of the name of a deceased person in a birth certificate issued pursuant to a court order under this section does not affect any matter of testate or intestate succession, and is not competent evidence on the issue of the relationship between the adopted child and the deceased person in any action or proceeding.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8616.
  

After adoption, the adopted child and the adoptive parents shall sustain towards each other the legal relationship of parent and child and have all the rights and are subject to all the duties of that relationship.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8616.5.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that some adoptive children may benefit from either direct or indirect contact with birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents or any siblings, or an Indian tribe, after being adopted. Postadoption contact agreements are intended to ensure children of an achievable level of continuing contact when contact is beneficial to the children and the agreements are voluntarily executed by birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents or any siblings, or an Indian tribe, and adoptive parents. Nothing in this section requires all of the listed parties to participate in the development of a postadoption contact agreement in order for the agreement to be executed.

(b) (1) Nothing in the adoption laws of this state shall be construed to prevent the adopting parent or parents, the birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents or any siblings, or an Indian tribe, and the child from voluntarily executing a written agreement to permit continuing contact between the birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents or any siblings, or an Indian tribe, and the child if the agreement is found by the court to have been executed voluntarily and to be in the best interests of the child at the time the adoption petition is granted.

(2) The terms of any postadoption contact agreement executed under this section shall be limited to, but need not include, all of the following:

(A) Provisions for visitation between the child and a birth parent or parents and other birth relatives, including siblings, and the child’s Indian tribe if the case is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

(B) Provisions for future contact between a birth parent or parents or other birth relatives, including siblings, or both, and the child or an adoptive parent, or both, and in cases governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act, the child’s Indian tribe.

(C) Provisions for the sharing of information about the child in the future.

(3) The terms of any postadoption contact agreement with birth relatives, including siblings, other than the child’s birth parent or parents shall be limited to the sharing of information about the child, unless the child has a preexisting relationship with the birth relative.

(c) At the time an adoption decree is entered pursuant to a petition filed pursuant to Section 8714, 8714.5, 8802, 8912, or 9000, the court entering the decree may grant postadoption privileges if an agreement for those privileges has been executed, including agreements executed pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 8620. The hearing to grant the adoption petition and issue an order of adoption may be continued as necessary to permit parties who are in the process of negotiating a postadoption agreement to reach a final agreement.

(d) The child who is the subject of the adoption petition shall be considered a party to the postadoption contact agreement. The written consent to the terms and conditions of the postadoption contact agreement and any subsequent modifications of the agreement by a child who is 12 years of age or older is a necessary condition to the granting of privileges regarding visitation, contact, or sharing of information about the child, unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the agreement, as written, is in the best interests of the child. Any child who has been found to come within Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or who is the subject of a petition for jurisdiction of the juvenile court under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be represented by an attorney for purposes of consent to the postadoption contact agreement.

(e) A postadoption contact agreement shall contain the following warnings in bold type:

(1) After the adoption petition has been granted by the court, the adoption cannot be set aside due to the failure of an adopting parent, a birth parent, a birth relative, including a sibling, an Indian tribe, or the child to follow the terms of this agreement or a later change to this agreement.

(2) A disagreement between the parties or litigation brought to enforce or modify the agreement shall not affect the validity of the adoption and shall not serve as a basis for orders affecting the custody of the child.

(3) A court will not act on a petition to change or enforce this agreement unless the petitioner has participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation or other appropriate dispute resolution proceedings to resolve the dispute.

(f) Upon the granting of the adoption petition and the issuing of the order of adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, juvenile court dependency jurisdiction shall be terminated. Enforcement of the postadoption contact agreement shall be under the continuing jurisdiction of the court granting the petition of adoption. The court may not order compliance with the agreement absent a finding that the party seeking the enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation or other appropriate dispute resolution proceedings regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the enforcement action, and that the enforcement is in the best interests of the child. Documentary evidence or offers of proof may serve as the basis for the court’s decision regarding enforcement. No testimony or evidentiary hearing shall be required. The court shall not order further investigation or evaluation by any public or private agency or individual absent a finding by clear and convincing evidence that the best interests of the child may be protected or advanced only by that inquiry and that the inquiry will not disturb the stability of the child’s home to the detriment of the child.

(g) The court may not award monetary damages as a result of the filing of the civil action pursuant to subdivision (e).

(h) A postadoption contact agreement may be modified or terminated only if either of the following occurs:

(1) All parties, including the child if the child is 12 years of age or older at the time of the requested termination or modification, have signed a modified postadoption contact agreement and the agreement is filed with the court that granted the petition of adoption.

(2) The court finds all of the following:

(A) The termination or modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

(B) There has been a substantial change of circumstances since the original agreement was executed and approved by the court.

(C) The party seeking the termination or modification has participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation or other appropriate dispute resolution proceedings prior to seeking court approval of the proposed termination or modification.

Documentary evidence or offers of proof may serve as the basis for the court’s decision. No testimony or evidentiary hearing shall be required. The court shall not order further investigation or evaluation by any public or private agency or individual absent a finding by clear and convincing evidence that the best interests of the child may be protected or advanced only by that inquiry and that the inquiry will not disturb the stability of the child’s home to the detriment of the child.

(i) All costs and fees of mediation or other appropriate dispute resolution proceedings shall be borne by each party, excluding the child. All costs and fees of litigation shall be borne by the party filing the action to modify or enforce the agreement when no party has been found by the court as failing to comply with an existing postadoption contact agreement. Otherwise, a party, other than the child, found by the court as failing to comply without good cause with an existing agreement shall bear all the costs and fees of litigation.

(j) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court and forms for motions to enforce, terminate, or modify postadoption contact agreements.

(k) The court shall not set aside a decree of adoption, rescind a relinquishment, or modify an order to terminate parental rights or any other prior court order because of the failure of a birth parent, adoptive parent, birth relative, including a sibling, an Indian tribe, or the child to comply with any or all of the original terms of, or subsequent modifications to, the postadoption contact agreement, except as follows:

(1) Prior to issuing the order of adoption, in an adoption involving an Indian child, the court may, upon a petition of the birth parent, birth relative, including a sibling, or an Indian tribe, order the parties to engage in family mediation services for the purpose of reaching a postadoption contact agreement if the prospective adoptive parent fails to negotiate in good faith to execute a postadoption contact agreement, after having agreed to enter into negotiations, provided that the failure of the parties to reach an agreement is not in and of itself proof of bad faith.

(2) Prior to issuing the order of adoption, if the parties fail to negotiate in good faith to execute a postadoption contact agreement during the negotiations entered into pursuant to, and in accordance with, paragraph (1), the court may modify prior orders or issue new orders as necessary to ensure the best interest of the Indian child is met, including, but not limited to, requiring parties to engage in further family mediation services for the purpose of reaching a postadoption contact agreement, initiating guardianship proceeding in lieu of adoption, or authorizing a change of adoptive placement for the child.

(l) As used in this section, “sibling” means a person related to the identified child by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 719, Sec. 1. (SB 1060) Effective January 1, 2017.)

8617.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the existing parent or parents of an adopted child are, from the time of the adoption, relieved of all parental duties towards, and all responsibility for, the adopted child, and have no right over the child.

(b) The termination of the parental duties and responsibilities of the existing parent or parents under subdivision (a) may be waived if both the existing parent or parents and the prospective adoptive parent or parents sign a waiver at any time prior to the finalization of the adoption. The waiver shall be filed with the court.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 564, Sec. 7. (SB 274) Effective January 1, 2014.)

8618.
  

A child adopted pursuant to this part may take the family name of the adoptive parent.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

8619.
  

The department shall adopt rules and regulations it determines are reasonably necessary to ensure that the birth parent or parents of Indian ancestry, seeking to relinquish a child for adoption, provide sufficient information to the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency so that a certificate of degree of Indian blood can be obtained from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The department shall immediately request a certificate of degree of Indian blood from the Bureau of Indian Affairs upon obtaining the information. A copy of all documents pertaining to the degree of Indian blood and tribal enrollment, including a copy of the certificate of degree of Indian blood, shall become a permanent record in the adoption files and shall be housed in a central location and made available to authorized personnel from the Bureau of Indian Affairs when required to determine the adopted person’s eligibility to receive services or benefits because of the adopted person’s status as an Indian. This information shall be made available to the adopted person upon reaching the age of majority.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 11. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8619.5.
  

Whenever a final decree of adoption of an Indian child has been vacated or set aside or the adoptive parent voluntary consents to termination of his or her parental rights to the child, a biological parent or prior Indian custodian may petition for return of custody and the court shall grant that petition unless there is a showing, in a proceeding subject to the provisions of Section 1912 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), that the return of custody is not in the best interest of the child.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 838, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2007.)

8620.
  

(a) (1) If a parent is seeking to relinquish a child pursuant to Section 8700 or execute an adoption placement agreement pursuant to Section 8801.3, the department, county adoption agency, licensed adoption agency, or adoption service provider, as applicable, shall ask the child and the child’s parent or custodian whether the child is, or may be, a member of, or eligible for membership in an Indian tribe or whether the child has been identified as a member of an Indian organization. The department, county adoption agency, licensed adoption agency, or adoption service provider, as applicable, shall complete the forms provided for this purpose by the department and shall make this completed form a part of the file.

(2) If there is any oral or written information that indicates that the child is, or may be, an Indian child, the department, county adoption agency, licensed adoption agency, or adoption service provider, as applicable, shall obtain the following information:

(A) The name of the child involved, and the actual date and place of birth of the child.

(B) The name, address, date of birth, and tribal affiliation of the birth parents, maternal and paternal grandparents, and maternal and paternal great-grandparents of the child.

(C) The name and address of extended family members of the child who have a tribal affiliation.

(D) The name and address of the Indian tribes or Indian organizations of which the child is, or may be, a member.

(E) A statement of the reasons why the child is, or may be, an Indian.

(3) (A) The department, county adoption agency, licensed adoption agency, attorney for the prospective adoptive parents, or adoption service provider shall send a notice, which shall include information obtained pursuant to paragraph (2) and a request for confirmation of the child’s Indian status, to any parent and any custodian of the child, and to any Indian tribe of which the child is, or may be, a member or eligible for membership. If any of the information required under paragraph (2) cannot be obtained, the notice shall indicate that fact.

(B) The notice sent pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall describe the nature of the proceeding and advise the recipient of the Indian tribe’s right to intervene in the proceeding on its own behalf or on behalf of a tribal member relative of the child.

(b) The department shall adopt regulations to ensure that if a child who is being voluntarily relinquished for adoption, pursuant to Section 8700, is an Indian child, the parent of the child shall be advised of his or her right to withdraw his or her consent and thereby rescind the relinquishment of an Indian child for any reason at any time prior to entry of a final decree of termination of parental rights or adoption, pursuant to Section 1913 of Title 25 of the United States Code.

(c) If a child who is the subject of an adoption proceeding after being relinquished for adoption pursuant to Section 8700, is an Indian child, the child’s Indian tribe may intervene in that proceeding on behalf of a tribal member relative of the child.

(d) Any notice sent under this section shall comply with Section 180.

(e) If all prior notices required by this section have been provided to an Indian tribe, the Indian tribe receiving those prior notices is encouraged to provide notice to the department and to the licensed adoption agency, county adoption agency, or adoption service provider, not later than five calendar days prior to the date of the hearing to determine whether or not the final adoption order is to be granted, indicating whether or not it intends to intervene in the proceeding required by this section, either on its own behalf or on behalf of a tribal member who is a relative of the child.

(f) The Legislature finds and declares that some adoptive children may benefit from either direct or indirect contact with an Indian tribe. Nothing in the adoption laws of this state shall be construed to prevent the adopting parent or parents, the birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents, an Indian tribe, and the child, from voluntarily entering into a written agreement to permit continuing contact between the Indian tribe and the child, if the agreement is found by the court to have been entered into voluntarily and to be in the best interest of the child at the time the adoption petition is granted.

(g) With respect to giving notice to Indian tribes in the case of voluntary placements of Indian children pursuant to this section, a person, other than a birth parent of the child, shall be subject to a civil penalty if that person knowingly and willfully:

(1) Falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device, a material fact concerning whether the child is an Indian child or the parent is an Indian.

(2) Makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement, omission, or representation.

(3) Falsifies a written document knowing that the document contains a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry relating to a material fact.

(4) Assists any person in physically removing a child from the State of California in order to obstruct the application of notification.

(h) Civil penalties for a violation of subdivision (g) by a person other than a birth parent of the child are as follows:

(1) For the initial violation, a person shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(2) For any subsequent violation, a person shall be fined not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 12. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8621.
  

The department shall adopt regulations regarding the provision of adoption services by the department, county adoption agencies, licensed adoption agencies, and other adoption service providers, and shall monitor the provision of those services by county adoption agencies, licensed adoption agencies, and other adoption providers. The department shall report violations of regulations to the appropriate licensing authority.

This section shall become operative on January 1, 1995.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 13. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

8622.
  

A licensed private adoption agency whose services are limited to a particular target population shall inform all birth parents and prospective adoptive parents of its service limitations before commencing any services, signing any documents or agreements, or accepting any fees.

This section shall become operative on January 1, 1995.

(Repealed (Jan. 1, 1994) and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 758, Sec. 6.2. Effective January 1, 1994. Section operative January 1, 1995, by its own provisions.)

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