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INTRODUCTION TO ADOPTION HEARINGS

To finalize the adoption, you must have a hearing in Court. This section tells you how to schedule your hearing, and what to do before and after your hearing.


FILL OUT THE FORMS

You can download the forms you need from the Local Family Law Forms page or by clicking on the form links, below:

Note: For additional forms please see the Judicial Council Forms page.

TIP: from the Judicial Council Forms page , use the dropdown box to choose “Adoption.” Then, click the “See forms” button.


FILE THE FORMS

Submit your adoption forms in the Family Law Clerk’s Office of the Superior Court, located at the Lamoreaux Justice Center Room 702. The Court’s locations page has the courthouse location, phone number and office hours.


PAY THE FILING FEES

You have to pay a filing fee for each child you want to adopt. Look for the "Petition for adoption" fee in the Family Law Fees section of the local fee schedule. You can pay by cash or check. Make your check payable to “Clerk of the Court.”

FEE WAIVERS (Can only be applied to Step Parent Adoption Investigations)

If you are seeking a step parent adoption, you might qualify for a fee waiver for any adoption investigations that occur. To apply for a fee waiver for step parent adoption investigation you will need to submit the following forms to the Court:

GET A HEARING DATE

When you submit your documents, please include a Memorandum for Setting for Hearing L-0124. You will receive notice in the mail of when your hearing is scheduled. For hearing schedule information please see the Family Law Calendar web page.

WHAT TO PROVIDE TO THE COURT BEFORE YOUR HEARING

Bring the following completed forms to the Court at least one week prior to your court date. NOTE: Do not sign these documents

HEARING CONFIDENTIALITY

All adoption proceedings are heard privately in a closed courtroom. Friends, family, and cameras are always welcome.


WHAT TO BRING TO THE HEARING

Bring the child you are adopting, a camera (if you want a photo of you and your child with the judge), and any friends and relatives you want to have with you.

If you are adopting a stepchild, the child, natural parent and stepparent must come to the hearing.

Be sure to bring the Court Report of Adoption VS-44 to amend the adopted person’s birth certificate with the California Department of Health Services.


WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE HEARING

All documents will be filed with the Court, and you will receive a copy of the adoption order for free. The amended birth certificate will be mailed to you by the California Department of Health Services.

© 2014 Superior Court of Orange County