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Our office can assist you (at no cost to you for our help) not only in locating adoptive parents for the baby you are carrying and creating an adoption plan, but also in putting your adoption plan into action. Before you select an adoptive family, you can find out about a number of adoptive families. You can speak with them by telephone, communicate with them by e-mail or by snail mail, and even meet them in person before you make a choice of the parents you want to adopt your baby. Once you have selected the adoptive family that meets your needs, you can get to know them as much or as little as you desire.

Would you like to have the adoptive parents go to the doctor with you? Would you want them to go to Lamaze classes with you? Would you like the adoptive parents to be present at the hospital when you give birth? Do you want them to send you photos and letters after the baby is born and each year thereafter or more often than that? Would you like to spend time with the adoptive family and the child as the child grows up? What are your dreams for your baby? Will the adoptive family you select help make those dreams come true? The choice of adoptive parents and the conditions that you believe are most important before you can commit to an adoption plan are yours!

If you are interested in receiving more information, we can forward our office brochure, newsletter and related information for you to read and consider. As you will realize when you read these materials, independent adoptions are very different from the adoptions that used to take place years ago–now birth parents’ feelings and rights are, as they should be, of major concern and significance. I know and appreciate the importance of birth parent rights and feelings in the adoption process because my wife and I are adoptive parents ourselves. We know how important and how right it is to care about and to genuinely meet the needs of birth parents in the adoption process.

Our office can provide you with letters from prospective adoptive families (both married couples and single parents) in addition to those families whose names and profiles are found on this web site. But before we do that, we would like to speak with you about your adoption plan and your choices so that we can be certain that the adoptive families we present to you are what you are looking for and meet your needs. At the same time, we can discuss and answer all of your questions about the adoption process and explain further how we can be of service to you.

Unsealing Adoption Records and Original Birth Certificates

Occasionally for medical or other significant reasons, adoptees want to have access to their original birth certificate to locate their biological parent or parents or to unseal their adoption file to find out medical, familial or other important historical information concerning their biological parents. In California adoptions are confidential proceedings.

At the time the adoption is finalized the original birth record including the original birth certificate is sealed and a revised birth certificate is issued and mailed by the Bureau of Vital Records to the adoptive family.  Because adoptions are confidential in this state, California law requires that a Court issue an order to unseal the birth record and the adoption file if access is to be given to inquiring parties.

Petitions to gain access to birth record information are brought under California Health and Safety Code section 102705.  They are commenced by filing a Petition for Birth Record Information and often supported by competent written declarations showing “good and compelling cause” as required under the statute.

The Judge will review the petition and supporting declarations and then determine whether the request for permission to inspect the records and/or obtain copies of the records relating to the birth of the person seeking the records should be granted.  The Court does not automatically grant all requests.

Good and compelling cause must be shown in the petition and accompanying affidavits before the Judge will grant the petition.  If you do not demonstrate good and compelling grounds for unsealing the records, your petition will likely be denied.  Mere curiosity about the applicant’s birth parentage is insufficient grounds under California law to unseal the records.

In addition to that petition, an additional petition for an order authorizing the individual seeking information to obtain additional information from their adoption file.  The Court may order that the clerk provide a certified copy of the Order of Adoption, the Petition for Adoption or in some instances the entire adoption file including informational forms completed by the birth and adoptive parents during the adoption process for the State Department of Social Services or the local designated public or private adoption agency and reports submitted as a part of the adoption paperwork.

To obtain this information an application must be filed and certain basic information including the names of the adopting parents, the date of adoption or the adoptee’s birth date and the reason for the request must be provided.

The application is reviewed by the Court bearing in mind the provisions of Family Code section 9200 which prohibits the release of any adoption information from the sealed records in an adoption case except in “exceptional circumstances and for good cause approaching the necessitous.

If your adoption was finalized in California, our office will assist you in seeking approval from the Court to obtain information concerning your adoption and in seeking approval of a petition to provide you with birth record information.