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AB-993 The parent and child relationship.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 06/25/21 - Amended Senate Compare Versions information image


AB993:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 25, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 993


Introduced by Assembly Member Patterson

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Sections 7613, 7825, 7851, 8609.5, 8616.5, 8713, 8714, 8802, 8803, 8910, 8912, 9000, and 9324 of the Family Code, relating to the parent and child relationship.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 993, as amended, Patterson. The parent and child relationship.
(1) The Uniform Parentage Act defines the parent and child relationship as the legal relationship existing between a child and the child’s parents, and provides rebuttable presumptions as to the parentage of a child born under the circumstances of conception through assisted reproduction using donated ova, sperm, or both. The act defines “assisted reproduction” for these purposes to mean conception by any means other than sexual intercourse.
This bill would establish that a provider of an embryo for use in assisted reproduction to an intended parent who is not the provider’s spouse or nonmarital partner is treated in law as if the provider is not the natural parent of a child thereby conceived unless the court finds satisfactory evidence that the provider and the intended parent intended for the provider to be a parent. If a donated embryo includes ova or sperm from a person other than a provider of the embryo, the bill would require that person’s consent to the donation unless the person has executed a writing to consent, waive, or relinquish their right to the embryo, or as otherwise ordered by a court of law.
(2) Existing law permits a proceeding to be brought for the purpose of having a child under 18 years of age declared free from the custody and control of either or both parents when the child’s parent or parents have been convicted of a felony of a nature that proves the unfitness of the parent or parents to have future custody and control of the child. Existing law authorizes the court to consider the parent’s criminal record prior to the felony conviction for these purposes.
This bill instead would require the court to consider the parent’s criminal record, and would not restrict that consideration to the period prior to the felony conviction.
Existing law authorizes specified individuals to provide the court with a written recommendation of the proper disposition to be made in the best interest of the child, and specifies the contents of that report.
This bill would recast and revise those provisions and would add to the required contents of the report a summary of the child’s past and current living circumstances and residence history, a background summary regarding each nonagency party to the case, and a recommendation whether granting or denying the petition would serve the child’s best interest. The bill would require each party to cooperate with the investigation.
(3) Existing law authorizes an adoption request for the adoption of a nondependent minor to be filed with the court in the county in which one of specified criteria applies and sets forth those individuals who may file an adoption request. Under existing law, an order of adoption is required to contain the child’s adopted name, but not the name of the child before the adoption.
This bill would add to the list of persons authorized to file an adoption request a person named in a court order terminating parental rights as the child’s legal guardian or prospective adoptive parent. The bill would require the adoption order to include both the child’s adopted name and the name of the child before the adoption. The bill would replace references to an adoption petition and refer instead to an adoption request.
(4) Existing law declares that some adoptive children may benefit from contact with birth relatives, as specified, after being adopted, and that 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 the parties. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to adopt rules of court and forms for motions to enforce, terminate, or modify postadoption contact agreements.
This bill would, among other things, additionally find and declare that some adoptive children may benefit from contact with nonrelative extended family members. The bill would require the court, at the time an adoption decree is entered, to grant postadoption contact privileges, as specified. The bill would add a definition of birth relative, for purposes of these provisions. The bill would require that a petitioner inform the court in writing whether the petitioners have entered or plan to enter into a postadoption contact agreement, as specified.
(5) Existing law prohibits any person who has not petitioned to adopt a child from removing the child from the county in which the child was placed without first obtaining the written consent of the licensed adoption agency. Existing law further prohibits the child proposed to be adopted from being concealed within the county in which the adoption proceeding is pending.
This bill would, among other things, prohibit the child proposed to be adopted from being concealed from the agency that is investigating the adoption or from the court with jurisdiction over the adoption proceeding.
(6)  The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 7613 of the Family Code is amended to read:

7613.
 (a) (1) If a woman conceives through assisted reproduction with semen or ova or both donated by a donor who is not the woman’s spouse, with the consent of another intended parent, that intended parent is treated in law as if that intended parent is the natural parent of a child thereby conceived. The other intended parent’s consent shall be in writing and signed by the other intended parent and the woman conceiving through assisted reproduction.
(2) Failure to consent in writing, as required by paragraph (1), does not preclude the court from finding that the intended parent consented if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that, prior to the conception of the child, the woman and the intended parent had an oral agreement that the woman and the intended parent would both be parents of the child.
(b) (1) The donor of semen provided to a licensed physician and surgeon or to a licensed sperm bank for use in assisted reproduction by a woman other than the donor’s spouse is treated in law as if the donor is not the natural parent of a child thereby conceived, unless otherwise agreed to in a writing signed by the donor and the woman prior to the conception of the child.
(2) If the semen is not provided to a licensed physician and surgeon or a licensed sperm bank as specified in paragraph (1), the donor of semen for use in assisted reproduction by a woman other than the donor’s spouse is treated in law as if the donor is not the natural parent of a child thereby conceived if either of the following are met:
(A) The donor and the woman agreed in a writing signed prior to conception that the donor would not be a parent.
(B) A court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived through assisted reproduction and that, prior to the conception of the child, the woman and the donor had an oral agreement that the donor would not be a parent.
(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to a man who provided semen for use in assisted reproduction by a woman other than the man’s spouse pursuant to a written agreement signed by the man and the woman prior to conception of the child stating that they intended for the man to be a parent.
(c)  A person providing ova or embryos for use in assisted reproduction by a person other than the provider’s spouse or nonmarital partner is treated in law as if the provider is not the natural parent of a child thereby conceived unless the court finds satisfactory evidence that the provider of the ova or embryos, and each recipient, intended for that provider to have parental rights. If donated embryos include ova or sperm from a person other than one of the providers, that person’s consent to the donation is required unless that person has previously executed a writing to consent, or to waive or relinquish their right to consent, or unless otherwise ordered by a court of law.
(d) (1) A provider of an embryo for use in assisted reproduction to an intended parent who is not the provider’s spouse or nonmarital partner is treated in law as if the provider is not the natural parent of a child thereby conceived unless the court finds satisfactory evidence that the provider and the intended parent intended for the provider to be a parent.
(2) If a donated embryo includes ova or sperm from a person other than a provider of the embryo, that person’s consent to the donation is required unless that person has executed a writing to consent, waive, or relinquish their right to the embryo, or as otherwise ordered by a court of law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 7825 of the Family Code is amended to read:

7825.
 (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where both of the following requirements are satisfied:
(1) The child is one whose parent or parents are convicted of a felony.
(2) The facts of the crime of which the parent or parents were convicted are of such a nature so as to prove the unfitness of the parent or parents to have the future custody and control of the child. In making a determination pursuant to this section, the court shall consider the parent’s criminal record to determine whether the criminal record demonstrates a pattern of behavior substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding the child.
(b) The mother of a child may bring a proceeding under this part against the father of the child, where the child was conceived as a result of an act in violation of Section 261 of the Penal Code, and where the father was convicted of that violation. For purposes of this subdivision, there is a conclusive presumption that the father is unfit to have custody or control of the child.

SEC. 3.

 Section 7851 of the Family Code is amended to read:

7851.
 (a)  Upon the filing of the petition, an investigation as to the circumstances of the child and the allegations set forth in the petition shall be conducted by a juvenile probation officer, qualified court investigator, licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor, or social worker with the county welfare department.
(b) The investigator shall file a written report with the court, which shall include all of the following:
(1) A statement that the investigator explained to the child the nature of the proceeding to end parental custody and control.
(2) A statement of the child’s feelings and thoughts concerning the pending proceeding.
(3) A statement of the child’s attitude towards the child’s parent or parents and particularly whether or not the child would prefer living with the parent or parents.
(4) A statement that the child was informed of the child’s right to attend the hearing on the petition and the child’s feelings concerning attending the hearing.
(5) A summary of the child’s past and current living circumstances and residence history.
(6) A background summary regarding each nonagency party to the case, including, but not limited to, previous guardianship investigations and any criminal or child welfare agency history.
(7) A recommendation whether granting or denying the petition will serve the best interest of the child.
(c) If the age, or the physical, emotional, or other condition of the child precludes the child’s meaningful response to the explanations, inquiries, and information required by subdivision (b), a description of the condition shall satisfy the requirement of that subdivision.
(d) The court shall receive the report in evidence and shall read and consider its contents in rendering the court’s judgment.
(e) Each party shall cooperate with the investigation. A petitioner’s failure to cooperate with the investigation may be grounds for the investigator to recommend dismissal of, and for the court to dismiss the petition.

SEC. 4.

 Section 8609.5 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8609.5.
 An adoption request for the adoption or readoption 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 child or is filing the petition for adoption is located.
(d) An office of the department or a public or private 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.

SEC. 5.

 Section 8616.5 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8616.5.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that some adoptive children may benefit from either direct or indirect contact with birth relatives, nonrelative extended family members, 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 adoptive families and any of those parties. This section does not require 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) The adoption laws of this state do not prevent the adopting parent or parents, the birth relatives, nonrelative extended family members, or an Indian tribe, and the child from voluntarily executing a written agreement to permit continuing contact between any of those parties 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 may include provisions for visitation, contact, or sharing of information, or any combination thereof.
(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 shall grant postadoption contact privileges if an agreement for those privileges has been executed, including agreements executed pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 8620, absent a specific finding that the privileges included in the agreement are not in the best interests of the child. If the court chooses not to grant postadoption contact as indicated in the agreement, the court shall schedule a hearing on the agreement, and petitioners shall serve notice of the hearing on all parties to the agreement. The hearing to grant the adoption petition and issue an order of adoption shall be continued as necessary to permit parties who are in the process of negotiating a postadoption agreement, or who were parties to the original agreement, to reach a final agreement, or to withdraw consent to the adoption if no agreement is reached.
(d) The child who is the subject of the adoption request 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. A 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 any party to the postadoption contact agreement 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, “birth relative” means any adult or minor who is related to the child or the child’s half-sibling by blood or affinity, including all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “step,” “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of these persons, even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. As used in this section, “nonrelative extended family member” is any person so defined in Section 362.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(m) In every adoption, each petitioner shall inform the court in writing whether the petitioners have entered or plan to enter into a postadoption contact agreement. If the parties do enter into an agreement prior to finalization of the adoption, the terms of the agreement shall be included on or attached to the original form or to an updated form, which shall be filed to reflect any changes after the initial filing and prior to the finalization hearing. In an agency adoption, each adoption agency consenting to or joining in the adoption shall be responsible to file with the court the signed form and all attachments, and any updates to the form. The agency shall provide a file-marked copy to all parties to the agreement prior to the finalization of the adoption. In an independent adoption or step-parent stepparent adoption, the petitioner or petitioners shall file with the court this signed form and all attachments, and any updates, and shall provide a file-marked copy to all parties to the agreement prior to the finalization of the adoption.
(n) If a postadoption contact agreement is executed but not filed with the court prior to finalization of the adoption, then at any time during the child’s minority, upon the request of any signatory to the agreement or by the minor’s counsel, the court shall enter the agreement as of the date of the adoption order, unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that it is not in the child’s best interest to do so. The court shall have discretion to award attorney’s fees and damages to any party aggrieved by the failure to comply with the requirements of subdivision (m).

SEC. 6.

 Section 8713 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8713.
 (a) In no event may a child who has been freed for adoption be removed from the county in which the child was placed, by any person who has not petitioned to adopt the child, without first obtaining the written consent of the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency responsible for the child.
(b) During the pendency of an adoption proceeding:
(1) The child proposed to be adopted shall not be concealed from the agency that is investigating the adoption or from the court with jurisdiction over the adoption proceeding.
(2) The child shall not be removed from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, unless the petitioners or other interested persons first obtain permission for the removal from the court, after giving advance written notice of intent to obtain the court’s permission to the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency responsible for the child. Upon proof of giving notice, permission may be granted by the court if, within a period of 15 days after the date of giving notice, no objections are filed with the court by the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency responsible for the child. If the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency files objections within the 15-day period, upon the request of the petitioners the court shall immediately set the matter for hearing and give to the objector, the petitioners, and the party or parties requesting permission for the removal reasonable notice of the hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of each as shown in the records of the adoption proceeding. Upon a finding that the objections are without good cause, the court may grant the requested permission for removal of the child, subject to any limitations that appear to be in the child’s best interest.
(c) This section does not apply in any of the following situations:
(1) When the child is absent for a period of not more than 30 days from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, unless a notice of recommendation of denial of petition has been personally served on the petitioners or the court has issued an order prohibiting the child’s removal from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, pending consideration of any of the following:
(A) The suitability of the petitioners.
(B) The care provided the child.
(C) The availability of the legally required agency consents to the adoption.
(2) Where the child has been returned to and remains in the custody and control of the child’s birth parent or parents.
(3) Where written consent for the removal of the child is obtained from the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency responsible for the child.
(d) A violation of this section is a violation of Section 280 of the Penal Code.
(e) Neither this section nor Section 280 of the Penal Code may be construed to render lawful any act that is unlawful under any other applicable law.

SEC. 7.

 Section 8714 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8714.
 (a) A person desiring to adopt a nondependent child may for that purpose file an adoption request in a county authorized by Section 8609.5. A person desiring to adopt a child who has been adjudged to be a dependent of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, freed for adoption by the juvenile court, and placed for adoption with the petitioner, may file the adoption request either in the county where the petitioner resides or in the county where the child was freed for adoption.
(b) The court clerk shall immediately notify the department at Sacramento in writing of the pendency of the proceeding and of any subsequent action taken.
(c) If the petitioner has entered into a postadoption contact agreement as set forth in Section 8616.5, the agreement, signed by the participating parties, shall be filed with the court in accordance with Section 8616.5.
(d) The caption of the adoption petition shall contain the names of the petitioners, but not the child’s name. The petition shall state the child’s sex and date of birth. The name the child had before adoption shall appear in the joinder signed by the licensed adoption agency.
(e) If the child is the subject of a guardianship petition, the adoption petition shall so state and shall include the caption and docket number or have attached a copy of the letters of the guardianship or temporary guardianship. The petitioners shall notify the court of any petition for guardianship or temporary guardianship filed after the adoption petition. The guardianship proceeding shall be consolidated with the adoption proceeding.
(f) The order of adoption shall contain the child’s adopted name and the name the child had before adoption.

SEC. 8.

 Section 8802 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8802.
 (a) Any of the following adult persons who desire to adopt a child may, for that purpose, file an adoption request in a county authorized by Section 8609.5:
(1) A person who is related to the child or the child’s half sibling by blood or affinity, including all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “step,” “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of these persons, even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.
(2) A person named in the will of a deceased parent as an intended adoptive parent where the child has no other parent.
(3) A person with whom a child has been placed for adoption, in which case a copy of the independent adoption placement agreement shall be attached to the petition.
(4) A person who has been the child’s legal guardian for more than one year. However, if the guardian was nominated by a parent for a purpose other than adoption and for a specified time period, or if the guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the guardianship shall have been in existence for at least three years, unless parental rights have already been terminated.
(5) If the child is alleged to have been abandoned pursuant to Section 7822, a person who has been the child’s legal guardian for more than six months. The legal guardian may file a petition pursuant to Section 7822 in the same court and concurrently with the adoption request.
(6) A person named in a court order teriminating terminating parental rights as the child’s legal guardian or prospective adoptive parent.
(b)  The court clerk shall immediately notify the department in Sacramento in writing of the pendency of the proceeding and of any subsequent action taken.
(c) The adoption request shall contain an allegation that the petitioners will file promptly with the department or delegated county adoption agency information required by the department in the investigation of the proposed adoption. The omission of the allegation from the adoption request does not affect the jurisdiction of the court to proceed or the validity of an adoption order or other order based on the adoption request.
(d) The caption of the adoption request shall contain the names of the petitioners, but not the child’s name. The body of the adoption request shall state the child’s sex and date of birth and the name the child had before adoption.
(e) If the child is the subject of a guardianship petition, the adoption request shall so state and shall include the caption and docket number or have attached a copy of the letters of the guardianship or temporary guardianship. The petitioners shall notify the court of any petition for guardianship or temporary guardianship filed after the adoption request. The guardianship proceeding shall be consolidated with the adoption proceeding, and the consolidated case shall be heard and decided in the court in which the adoption is pending.
(f) The order of adoption shall contain the child’s adopted name and the name the child had before adoption.

SEC. 9.

 Section 8803 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8803.
 (a) During the pendency of an adoption proceeding:
(1) The child proposed to be adopted shall not be concealed from the agency that is investigating the adoption, or from the court with jurisdiction over the adoption proceeding.
(2) The child shall not be removed from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, unless the petitioners or other interested persons first obtain permission for the removal from the court, after giving advance written notice of intent to obtain the court’s permission to the department or delegated county adoption agency responsible for the investigation of the proposed adoption. Upon proof of giving notice, permission may be granted by the court if, within a period of 15 days after the date of giving notice, no objections are filed with the court by the department or delegated county adoption agency. If the department or delegated county adoption agency files objections within the 15-day period, upon the request of the petitioners the court shall immediately set the matter for hearing and give to the objector, the petitioners, and the party or parties requesting permission for the removal reasonable notice of the hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of each as shown in the records of the adoption proceeding. Upon a finding that the objections are without good cause, the court may grant the requested permission for removal of the child, subject to any limitations that appear to be in the child’s best interest.
(b) This section does not apply in any of the following situations:
(1) When the child is absent for a period of not more than 30 days from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, unless a notice of recommendation of denial of petition has been personally served on the petitioners or the court has issued an order prohibiting the child’s removal from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, pending consideration of any of the following:
(A) The suitability of the petitioners.
(B) The care provided the child.
(C) The availability of the legally required consents to the adoption.
(2) Where the child has been returned to and remains in the custody and control of the child’s birth parent or parents.
(c) A violation of this section is a violation of Section 280 of the Penal Code.
(d) Neither this section nor Section 280 of the Penal Code may be construed to render lawful any act that is unlawful under any other applicable law.

SEC. 10.

 Section 8910 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8910.
 (a) In no event may a child who has been placed for adoption be removed from the county in which the child was placed, by any person who has not petitioned to adopt the child, without first obtaining the written consent of the licensed adoption agency responsible for the child.
(b) During the pendency of an adoption proceeding:
(1) The child proposed to be adopted shall not be concealed from the agency that is investigating the adoption or from the court with jurisdiction over the adoption proceeding.
(2) The child shall not be removed from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, unless the petitioners or other interested persons first obtain permission for the removal from the court, after giving advance written notice of intent to obtain the court’s permission to the licensed adoption agency responsible for the child. Upon proof of giving notice, permission may be granted by the court if, within a period of 15 days after the date of giving notice, no objections are filed with the court by the licensed adoption agency responsible for the child. If the licensed adoption agency files objections within the 15-day period, upon the request of the petitioners the court shall immediately set the matter for hearing and give to the objector, the petitioners, and the party or parties requesting permission for the removal reasonable notice of the hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of each as shown in the records of the adoption proceeding. Upon a finding that the objections are without good cause, the court may grant the requested permission for removal of the child, subject to any limitations that appear to be in the child’s best interest.
(c) This section does not apply in any of the following situations:
(1) When the child is absent for a period of not more than 30 days from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, unless a notice of recommendation of denial of petition has been personally served on the petitioners or the court has issued an order prohibiting the removal of the child from the county of the petitioner’s residence at the time of placement, pending consideration of any of the following:
(A) The suitability of the petitioners.
(B) The care provided the child.
(C) The availability of the legally required agency consents to the adoption.
(2) Where the child has been returned to and remains in the custody and control of the child’s birth parent or parents.
(3) Where written consent for the removal of the child is obtained from the licensed adoption agency responsible for the child.
(d) A violation of this section is a violation of Section 280 of the Penal Code.
(e) Neither this section nor Section 280 of the Penal Code may be construed to render lawful any act that is unlawful under any other applicable law.

SEC. 11.

 Section 8912 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8912.
 (a) An international adoption or readoption request may be filed by a resident of this state in a county authorized by Section 8609.5. The court clerk shall immediately notify the department at Sacramento in writing of the pendency of the proceeding and of any subsequent action taken.
(b) The caption of the adoption request shall contain the names of the petitioners, but not the child’s name. The request shall state the child’s sex, date of birth, and the name the child had before adoption.
(c) If the child is the subject of a guardianship petition, the adoption request shall so state and shall include the caption and docket number or have attached a copy of the letters of the guardianship or temporary guardianship. The petitioners shall notify the court of any petition for guardianship or temporary guardianship filed after the adoption petition. The guardianship proceeding shall be consolidated with the adoption proceeding.
(d) The order of adoption shall contain the child’s adopted name and the name the child had before adoption.
(e) If the petitioner has entered into a postadoption contact agreement as set forth in Section 8616.5, the agreement, signed by the participating parties, shall be filed with the court in accordance with that section.

SEC. 12.

 Section 9000 of the Family Code is amended to read:

9000.
 (a) A stepparent desiring to adopt a child of the stepparent’s spouse may for that purpose file a petition in any county authorized by Section 8609.5.
(b) A domestic partner, as defined in Section 297, desiring to adopt a child of the other domestic partner may, for that purpose, file a petition in any county authorized pursuant to Section 8609.5.
(c) The caption of the adoption petition shall contain the names of the petitioners, but not the child’s name. The petition shall state the child’s sex and date of birth and the name the child had before adoption.
(d) If the child is the subject of a guardianship petition, the adoption petition shall so state and shall include the caption and docket number or have attached a copy of the letters of the guardianship or temporary guardianship. The petitioners shall notify the court of any petition for guardianship or temporary guardianship filed after the adoption petition. The guardianship proceeding shall be consolidated with the adoption proceeding.
(e) The order of adoption shall contain the child’s adopted name, and the name the child had before adoption.
(f) If the petitioner has entered into a postadoption contact agreement pursuant to Section 8616.5, the agreement shall be filed with the court in accordance with that section.
(g) For the purposes of this chapter, stepparent adoption includes adoption by a domestic partner, as defined in Section 297.

SEC. 13.

 Section 9324 of the Family Code is amended to read:

9324.
 Both the prospective adoptive parent and the proposed adoptee shall appear at the hearing in person, unless the court allows otherwise pursuant to Section 8613.5.

SEC. 14.

  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.