Issaquah, WA asked in Adoption and Family Law for California

Q: Adult adoption in California: replacing only one parent, what needs to be done?

I am an adult. My birth parents have been divorced for many years. The intention is that I would be adopted by my aunt, who lives in California. As I understand it, the adoption would then "sever" the parent-child connection between myself and my birth parents. However, I do not wish to have my parent-child connection to my birth father so severed -- I would preferably only "replace" my mother. Is this possible, and what would have to be done in order to facilitate this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, adult adoption typically involves the complete replacement of both birth parents, legally severing the relationship with them and establishing a new one with the adoptive parent(s). However, in your case, where you wish to maintain the legal relationship with your birth father while replacing your birth mother, the process becomes more complex. California law does not provide a straightforward mechanism for partially replacing one parent in an adult adoption.

To navigate this unique situation, it would be prudent to consult with a lawyer experienced in family law. They can assess whether a customized legal arrangement or a different legal process, such as a guardianship or conservatorship, might better suit your objectives. Remember, each situation is unique, and the feasibility of your desired arrangement will depend on specific circumstances and possibly judicial discretion.

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