Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
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Thank you for your question,
My name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney with 25 years experience and will be glad to help with your question
Please give me the following information so that I can better help you:
1. What relation do you have to the little girl ? Are you the father ?
2. If not, where is the biological father ?
3. Where was the mother for the last 6 years ?
4. Did the mother visit the little girl during those 6 years ?
5. Whith whom do you live ?
6. In which State are you located ?
I am not related the mother was on meth.
biological father deported back to the philippines
mother was between vallejo and fairfield ca until about a year ago moved to florida with her boyfriedn came back to ca end of aug this year with her fifth dauther who just turned one years old this year
No the mother or any of her family did not visit or called, do not have any relatioship with my dauther thougjh I have called numerous time to encouraged them to visit her
My 22 year old son just moved back in my daughter and myself
1. How did the little girl get to be in your care ? Did the mother leave her with you ?
2. How often does the mother pay you child support ?
3. Is there a Court Order for child support ?
4. If the mother gives up her parental rights and you adopt the little girl, the mother will not have to pay any more child support. Is the mother willing to give up her parental rights to the little girl ?
5. What does the little girl call you ?
6. Does the little girl go to school
7. How did the social worker get involved ?
When met my daughter through my sister who was into meth like the mother, I asked if I could keep her for the weekend and she said yes, since then I was keeping my daughter every weekend. A month after I met the biological grandparents who express to me that they are missing work because the mother was not coming home to take care of at that time 2 months old baby n the grandmother was already takin care of an older child from the same mother at that time she was three years old. I then offered to help to take care of the baby with the permission of the mother and grandmother. the child has been with me ever since.
I had filed for legal custody about 3 years ago and since my daughter is not blood related to me CPS had to step in n my daughter was given a social worker to check up on her every six months. at time they told me that I will be given money once a month for her; which I didnt know that was a child support, which the mother only found out when she got her first job august of this year.
My daughter is in kindergarten and she calles me mommy
Thank you for your patience and all your additional information
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Since you are not related to the little girl, you will have to do an agency adoption where the Department of Social Services is part of the adoption case. In these cases, the parent must give up their parental rights by signing an "Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights". Once she does that, you can move forward with the adoption. You can tell her that once she signs that Affidavit and the adoption is complete, she will no longer have to pay child support.
If she refuses to sign the Affidavit, you can ask the Court to terminate her parental rights as well as those of the biological father. You can state everything that you told me, that she abandoned her little girl 6 years ago and never cared to visit, You always encouraged her to visit, but still she never visited and never called, and that she is a daily drug user. Also state that the little girl feels safe and secure in the stable environment that you have provided, you have always been her caregiver, you are the only mother she has ever known, it would cause irreparable emotional and psychological harm to remove her from your home, and "the best interests and permanent welfare of the little girl would be served by approving the adoption". It is important to include the last phrase because that is the standard by which Judges decide these cases.
If you would like to try to do the adoption paperwork yourself, click on the website which I have provided below, it is the official "Do it Yourself" website of the California Courts. This is the instruction sheet for "How to adopt a child in California:
And here is the California Courts official website for all the adoption forms you will need:
For legal help, Call the California Bar Association and the Bar Association of the county in which you live, and ask for their "Lawyer Referral Service"; Consultations are free. Ask for the names of lawyers who charge on a sliding scale and for their "Pro Bono Committee"; these are lawyers who volunteer their time so that legal representation is available to those who ordinarily could not afford it. You can also call your County Legal Aid Society. Tell them what your problem is, speak to a few attorneys, ask questions and then select the one with whom you feel the most comfortable.
BONUS is always appreciated
That is the only way I get paid
ANDREA, JD, LLM
MEMBER, NY & PA BAR
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I dont have 5000.00 which is the cost to adopt my baby, if I do the adoption myself will it cost me the same? If the mother does take me to court do u have any idea how long till I get serve for the court date. in bases will the judge look at to give the child back to her biological parents?
The websites to which I gave you the link is maintained by the California Courts and the adoption forms are free. You can fill them out online, then print them out and file them with the Family Court. The only fee involved would be the filing fee which used to be $50, then raised, then raised again. We do not keep track of the Court's filing fees because they change and we do not want to give incorrect information to customers. However, if you handled the adoption yourself with the information, websites and forms I have given you, it could not possibly cost $5,000. As I said, the only fee you would pay would be the Court's filing fee, maybe $100 - $150, or so.
I would be glad to continue to assist you, but the questions you are asking now as to what factors does the Judge take into account in approving an adoption, even what an adoption would cost are new questions. The policy of JustAnswer is for a customer to ask a question and receive an Answer from the Expert. Both I and JustAnswer encourage customers to ask follow up questions for clarification of the Answer at no additional charge. But JustAnswer's policy is to have a customer Accept an Expert's Answer before going on to ask new questions which are not for clarification. Our Answers are constantly monitored and we receive notice if we are violating JustAnswers's website policies. Please understand that I would be violating JustAnswer's policy and I would get into trouble for doing so. I hope you can understand my position. If you would like to press the Accept button, I will be glad to continue to assist you and answer your questions.
1. whether you would lose your daughter
2. what were the chances of the biological mother getting her daughter back.
In both questions, you were asking for predictions. No ethical Attorney would predict how a Judge would decide a case, or guarantee the outcome of a case. If an Attorney did so, it would only be because they had very limited knowledge of the law and Court procedure.
You also stated that the little girl's social worker would not help you and an adoption would cost you $5,000.
Since I am an ethical Attorney, I do not speculate or predict outcomes of cases, or how a Judge would decide since they have wide discretion to decide any way they see fit as long as it is within the parameters of the law. We work on the honor system, so I gave you solid Answers, dispelled the idea that an adoption would cost you $5,000, gave you all the information you needed to include in a Petition for Adoption, what documents you needed from the biological mother, all the forms for a California adoption if you wanted to handle the adoption without using an attorney and incurring attorney's fees, the official website for these forms, instructions on how to adopt a child in California, and much more information. You will notice that another JustAnswer Legal Expert has agreed with Answers and information I have given you. With all due respect, I cannot believe the statements in your Reply that you will not accept my Answers because you "had all this information from your own research", because if you had all this information, you would have known that the Department of Social Services must join in the adoption, you would have already obtained the necessary Affidavits and other documentation from the biological mother, and you would have already started the adoption proceedings, if that were the case. You now ask additional and new questions, even after refusing to accept all the Answers and information I gave you. The experts do not get paid if the customer does not press the Accept button, therefore, I cannot continue to give you Answers and information only to have you tell me that you "already knew this", so I will opt out of your question and if another expert would like to continue to give you information, they may do so. I wish you the best.
In addition: I am fighting for my life and that is my daughter, I dont know what kind of question I should ask or how to ask the quesions in a right way.
Thank you for accepting my Answers.
To clarify, I said that the initial questions you posted were asking for predictions, that is something that no reputable, ethical Attorney would do.
The information I gave you on adoption and the fact that the Department of Social Services would have to be part of the adoption case came directly from theCalifornia Family Court which gave the various types of adoptions, as follows:
1. Adoptions where a stepparent married one of the biological parents and wanted to adop their stepchild;
2. Adoptions in which private adoption agencies were involved;
3. International adoptions;
4. Adoptions where the person adopting the child was not biologically related to the child and, therefore, the Department of Social Services had to be involved.
I believe that the social worker may not be totally familiar with all aspects of adoption proceedings and I would suggest arranging a meeting with the Director, or Assistant Director of that particular Social Services Office to get better information, especially if you find yourself in the position where the biological mother is reluctant to sign an Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights". If she is willing to sign this Affidavit, it will be much easier and the adoption proceedings will be faster and smoother.
If she does not want to sign this Affidavit, The Department of Social Services is the party in 99% of the cases which files a Petition for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights. Once a Judge hears the case and enters an Order terminating the mother's rights, then you would file your Petition for Adoption and the biological mother would not be in the picture at all, would not be a party to the adoption, and would not even be allowed to sit in on the adoption proceedings.
I believe I had asked you if you thought she would be agreeable to sgning such an Affidavit, but you did not respond. If you tell me what the mother's feelings are regarding the signing of this Avvidavit giving up her [parental rights I would be in a better position to tell you what to expect and how to prepare for the adoption proceedings.
So, let me know and I will await your reply
You do not have to feel guilty or scared about the child support being taken out of her wages. It is the law which is imposing on her the obligation of child support, not you.
I already indicated to you in one of my previous Answers that you could tell her that once she signed the Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights, and the adoption was completed, she would no longer have any obligation to pay child support and nothing would be taken out of her wages any more.
I believe in "Striking while the iron is hot", as they say, and if she has indicated that she is willing to sign this Affidavit, have her sign it as soon as possible. The Department of Social Services has these Affidavits in their files and you could ask the social worker to get you a copy and help you fill it out. Then arrange to meet the biological mother so that she can sign it, but it has to be signed in front of a Notary Public, so that her signature is Notarized. You would then prepare the Petition for Adoption, getting the form from the website I noted in one of my previous Answers.
It is immoral and unethical to think that the biological mother would think along those lines, but It is not extortion and it is not illegal simply because she is the biological mother, even though she has not acted as any caring mother would.
As the biological mother (and without the law knowing that she abandoned her child) she is entitled to ask for her child back. Whether she will win is an entirely different story. It is the same as someone asking me, "Can I sue X? " Well, in this day and age, everybody is suing everybody and anybody can sue anybody. The fact that they will lose, doesn't seem to phase them. In the same context, if the biological mother wants to be mean and nasty, she can sue because that is how our legal system works. However, it is unlikely that a Judge in the Family Court in his right mind would uproot a 6 year old child and give her to someone whom the child does not know and considers a total stranger. As I told you in one of my previous Answers, the Judges of the Family Courts in all 50 States are guided by the principle of "What will be in the best interests and permanent welfare of this child"
That is the best evidence you can present to the Court and the Judge to show that the biological mother does not care at all for the child and if she had the baby, nothing would stop her from giving the baby to "the highest bidder".
All I can say is protect that phone and the text messages she sent you with your life because they may very well be your ticket to a slam dunk in getting your little girl for keeps. You should take advantage when she is in one of these "money moods" and tell her she will never have to pay child support again if she signs the Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights, have her sign it and then immediately file your Petition for Adoption with the Affidavit as Exhibit "A".
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