The L. A. Superior Court has devised a remote process that allows for the finalization of uncontested adoptions without the need for a court appearance.
The new process―developed in conjunction with the Judicial Council, Alliance For Children’s Rights (Alliance) and Public Counsel― will help parents and their adoptive children quickly and efficiently obtain final court approval of their cases.
The new process, which could be replicated statewide, requires the adoptive parents to sign a stipulated, notarized adoption agreement, declarations and submit other Judicial Council forms by email. After the submission of the stipulated, notarized petition, court employees check that all forms have been prepared correctly and the entire process is done electronically within a few court days.
Judicial officers sign the adoption paperwork in chambers and the court sends the final, file-stamped order by mail to the parents’ attorneys. Applicants may choose to wait for the in-person appearance; however it likely will be months before in-person adoptions will be held in the courthouse.
Before the COVID-19 emergency, it generally would take eight weeks from the initial filing for a Judicial Officers to approve a final adoption.
The new model adoption process is part of the court’s Here For You | Safe For You initiative to provide a safe courthouse environment while offering services that allow court business to be conducted remotely.
Information on Here For You | Safe For You can be found at http://www.lacourt.org/newsmedia/ui/HfySfy.aspx