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FAMILY CODE SECTION 8800-8823

8800. (a) The Legislature finds and declares that an attorney’s
ability to effectively represent his or her client may be seriously
impaired when conflict of interest deprives the client of the
attorney’s undivided loyalty and effort. The Legislature further
finds and declares that the relation between attorney and client is a
fiduciary relation of the very highest character, and binds the
attorney to the most conscientious fidelity.
(b) The Legislature finds that Rule 2-111(A)(2) of the State Bar
Rules of Professional Conduct provides that an attorney shall not
withdraw from employment until the attorney has taken reasonable
steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client,
including giving due notice to the client, allowing time for
employment of other counsel, delivering to the client all papers and
property to which the client is entitled, and complying with
applicable laws and rules.
(c) The Legislature declares that in an independent adoption
proceeding, whether or not written consent is obtained, multiple
representation by an attorney should be avoided whenever a birth
parent displays the slightest reason for the attorney to believe any
controversy might arise. The Legislature finds and declares that it
is the duty of the attorney when a conflict of interest occurs to
withdraw promptly from any case, advise the parties to retain
independent counsel, refrain from taking positions in opposition to
any of these former clients, and thereafter maintain an impartial,
fair, and open attitude toward the new attorneys.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, it is unethical for an attorney
to undertake the representation of both the prospective adoptive
parents and the birth parents of a child in any negotiations or
proceedings in connection with an adoption unless a written consent
is obtained from both parties. The written consent shall include all
of the following:
(1) A notice to the birth parents, in the form specified in this
section, of their right to have an independent attorney advise and
represent them in the adoption proceeding and that the prospective
adoptive parents may be required to pay the reasonable attorney’s
fees up to a maximum of five hundred dollars ($500) for that
representation, unless a higher fee is agreed to by the parties.
(2) A notice to the birth parents that they may waive their right
to an independent attorney and may be represented by the attorney
representing the prospective adoptive parents.
(3) A waiver by the birth parents of representation by an
independent attorney.
(4) An agreement that the attorney representing the prospective
adoptive parents shall represent the birth parents.
(e) Upon the petition or motion of any party, or upon motion of
the court, the court may appoint an attorney to represent a child’s
birth parent or parents in negotiations or proceedings in connection
with the child’s adoption.
(f) The birth parent or parents may have an attorney, other than
the attorney representing the interests of the prospective adoptive
parents, to advise them fully of the adoption procedures and of their
legal rights. The birth parent or parents also may retain an
attorney to represent them in negotiations or proceedings in
connection with the child’s adoption. The court may award attorney’s
fees and costs for just cause and based upon the ability of the
parties to pay those fees and costs.
(g) In the initial communication between the attorney retained by
or representing the prospective adoptive parents and the birth
parents, or as soon thereafter as reasonable, but before any written
consent for dual representation, the attorney shall advise the birth
parents of their rights regarding an independent attorney and that it
is possible to waive the independent attorney.
(h) The attorney retained by or representing the prospective
adoptive parents shall inform the prospective adoptive parents in
writing that the birth parent or parents can revoke consent to the
adoption pursuant to Section 8814.5 and that any moneys expended in
negotiations or proceedings in connection with the child’s adoption
are not reimbursable. The prospective adoptive parents shall sign a
statement to indicate their understanding of this information.
(i) Any written consent to dual representation shall be filed with
the court before the filing of the birth parent’s consent to
adoption.

8801. (a) The selection of a prospective adoptive parent or parents
shall be personally made by the child’s birth parent or parents and
may not be delegated to an agent. The act of selection by the birth
parent or parents shall be based upon his, her, or their personal
knowledge of the prospective adoptive parent or parents.
(b) “Personal knowledge” as used in this section includes, but is
not limited to, substantially correct knowledge of all of the
following regarding the prospective adoptive parents: their full
legal names, ages, religion, race or ethnicity, length of current
marriage and number of previous marriages, employment, whether other
children or adults reside in their home, whether there are other
children who do not reside in their home and the child support
obligation for these children and any failure to meet these
obligations, any health conditions curtailing their normal daily
activities or reducing their normal life expectancies, any
convictions for crimes other than minor traffic violations, any
removals of children from their care due to child abuse or neglect,
and their general area of residence or, upon request, their address.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1995.

8801.3. A child shall not be considered to have been placed for
adoption unless each of the following is true:
(a) Each birth parent placing the child for adoption has been
advised of his or her rights, and if desired, has been counseled
pursuant to Section 8801.5.
(b) The adoption service provider, each prospective adoptive
parent, and each birth parent placing the child have signed an
adoption placement agreement on a form prescribed by the department.
The signing of the agreement shall satisfy all of the following
requirements:
(1) Each birth parent shall have been advised of his or her rights
pursuant to Section 8801.5 at least 10 days before signing the
agreement, unless the adoption service provider finds exigent
circumstances that shall be set forth in the adoption placement
agreement.
(2) The agreement may not be signed by either the birth parents or
the prospective adoptive parents until the time of discharge of the
birth mother from the hospital. However, if the birth mother remains
hospitalized for a period longer than the hospitalization of the
child, the agreement may be signed by all parties at the time of or
after the child’s discharge from the hospital but prior to the birth
mother’s discharge from the hospital if her competency to sign is
verified by her attending physician and surgeon before she signs the
agreement.
(3) The birth parents and prospective adoptive parents shall sign
the agreement in the presence of an adoption service provider.
(4) The adoption service provider who witnesses the signatures
shall keep the original of the adoption placement agreement and
immediately forward it and supporting documentation as required by
the department to the department or delegated county adoption agency.
(5) The child is not deemed to be placed for adoption with the
prospective adoptive parents until the adoption placement agreement
has been signed and witnessed.
(6) If the birth parent is not located in this state or country,
the adoption placement agreement shall be signed before an adoption
service provider or, for purposes of identification of the birth
parent only, before a notary or other person authorized to perform
notarial acts in the state or country in which the birth parent is
located. This paragraph is not applicable to intercountry adoptions,
as defined in Section 8527, which shall be governed by Chapter 4
(commencing with Section 8900).
(c) The adoption placement agreement form shall include all of the
following:
(1) A statement that the birth parent received the advisement of
rights and the date upon which it was received.
(2) A statement that the birth parent understands that the
placement is for the purpose of adoption and that if the birth parent
takes no further action, on the 31st day after signing the adoption
placement agreement, the agreement shall become a permanent and
irrevocable consent to the adoption.
(3) A statement that the birth parent signs the agreement having
personal knowledge of certain facts regarding the prospective
adoptive parents as provided in Section 8801.
(4) A statement that the adoptive parents have been informed of
the basic health and social history of the birth parents.
(5) A consent to the adoption that may be revoked as provided by
Section 8814.5.
(d) The adoption placement agreement shall also meet the
requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
in Section 7901.
(e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1995.

8801.5. (a) Each birth parent placing a child for adoption shall be
advised of his or her rights by an adoption service provider.
(b) The birth parent shall be advised of his or her rights in a
face-to-face meeting in which the birth parent may ask questions and
have questions answered, as provided by Section 8801.3.
(c) The department shall prescribe the format and process for
advising birth parents of their rights, the content of which shall
include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) The alternatives to adoption.
(2) The alternative types of adoption, including a description of
the full procedures and timeframes involved in each type.
(3) The full rights and responsibilities of the birth parent with
respect to adoption, including the need to keep the department
informed of his or her current address in case of a medical emergency
requiring contact and of providing a full health history.
(4) The right to separate legal counsel paid for by the
prospective adoptive parents upon the request of the birth parent, as
provided for by Section 8800.
(5) The right to a minimum of three separate counseling sessions,
each to be held on different days, to be paid for by the prospective
adoptive parents upon the request of the birth parents, as provided
for by subdivision (d).
(d) Each person advised pursuant to this section shall be offered
at least three separate counseling sessions, to be held on different
days. Each counseling session shall be not less than 50 minutes in
duration. The counseling may be provided by the adoption service
provider who informs the birth parent of his or her rights, or by
another adoption service provider, or by a licensed psychotherapist,
as defined by Section 1010 of the Evidence Code, as elected by the
person, and after having been informed of these choices.
(e) The counselor owes a duty of care to the birth parent being
counseled, similar to the duty of care established by a
psychotherapist-patient relationship, regardless of who pays the fees
of the counselor. No counselor shall have a contractual relationship
with the adoptive parents, an attorney for the adoptive parents, or
any other individual or an organization performing any type of
services for the adoptive parents and for which the adoptive parents
are paying a fee, except as relates to payment of the birth parents’
fee.
(f) The advisement and counseling fees shall be paid by the
prospective adoptive parents at the request of the birth parent.
(g) Failure to fulfill the duties specified in this section shall
not be construed as a basis for setting aside the consent or the
adoption, but may give rise to a cause of action for malpractice or
negligence against those professionals or agencies serving as
adoption service providers that are responsible for fulfilling the
duties.

8801.7. (a) An adoption service provider shall also witness the
signature of the adoption placement agreement and offer to interview
the birth parent after the placement of the child with prospective
adoptive parents. The interview shall occur within 10 working days
after the placement of the child for adoption and shall include a
consideration of any concerns or problems the birth parent has with
the placement, a readvisement of the rights of the birth parent, and
the taking of the health and social history of the birth parent, if
not taken previously.
(b) The adoption service provider shall immediately notify the
department or delegated county adoption agency if the birth parent is
not interviewed as provided in subdivision (a) or if there are any
concerns regarding the placement. If the birth parent wishes to
revoke the consent, the adoption service provider shall assist the
birth parent in obtaining the return of the child.
(c) The adoption service provider owes a very high duty of care to
the birth parent being advised, regardless of who pays the provider’
s fees. The duty of care specifically does not include a duty to
investigate information provided by the birth parents, prospective
adoptive parents, or their attorneys or agents. No adoption service
provider shall have a contractual relationship with prospective
adoptive parents, an attorney or representative for prospective
adoptive parents, or any individual or organization providing
services of any type to prospective adoptive parents for which the
adoptive parents are paying a fee, except as relates to the payment
of the fees for the advising and counseling of the birth parents.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1995.

8802. (a) (1) Any of the following persons who desire to adopt a
child may, for that purpose, file an adoption request in a county
authorized by Section 8609.5:
(A) An adult who is related to the child or the child’s half
sibling by blood or affinity, including all relatives whose status is
preceded by the words “step,” “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or
the spouse of any of these persons, even if the marriage was
terminated by death or dissolution.
(B) A person named in the will of a deceased parent as an intended
adoptive parent where the child has no other parent.
(C) A person with whom a child has been placed for adoption.
(D) (i) A legal guardian who has been the child’s legal guardian
for more than one year.
(ii) If the child is alleged to have been abandoned pursuant to
Section 7822, a legal guardian who has been the child’s legal
guardian for more than six months. The legal guardian may file a
petition pursuant to Section 7822 in the same court and concurrently
with a petition under this section.
(iii) However, if the parent nominated the guardian for a purpose
other than adoption for a specified time period, or if the
guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 of the Welfare
and Institutions Code, the guardianship shall have been in existence
for not less than three years.
(2) If the child has been placed for adoption, a copy of the
adoptive placement agreement shall be attached to the petition. The
court clerk shall immediately notify the department at Sacramento in
writing of the pendency of the proceeding and of any subsequent
action taken.
(3) If the petitioner has entered into a postadoption contact
agreement with the birth parent as set forth in Section 8616.5, the
agreement, signed by the participating parties, shall be attached to
and filed with the petition for adoption.
(b) The petition shall contain an allegation that the petitioners
will file promptly with the department or delegated county adoption
agency information required by the department in the investigation of
the proposed adoption. The omission of the allegation from a
petition does not affect the jurisdiction of the court to proceed or
the validity of an adoption order or other order based on the
petition.
(c) The caption of the adoption petition shall contain the names
of the petitioners, but not the child’s name. The petition shall
state the child’s sex and date of birth and the name the child had
before adoption.
(d) If the child is the subject of a guardianship petition, the
adoption petition shall so state and shall include the caption and
docket number or have attached a copy of the letters of the
guardianship or temporary guardianship. The petitioners shall notify
the court of any petition for guardianship or temporary guardianship
filed after the adoption petition. The guardianship proceeding shall
be consolidated with the adoption proceeding, and the consolidated
case shall be heard and decided in the court in which the adoption is
pending.
(e) The order of adoption shall contain the child’s adopted name,
but not the name the child had before adoption.

8803. (a) During the pendency of an adoption proceeding:
(1) The child proposed to be adopted may not be concealed within
the county in which the adoption proceeding is pending.
(2) The child may not be removed from the county in which the
adoption proceeding is pending unless the petitioners or other
interested persons first obtain permission for the removal from the
court, after giving advance written notice of intent to obtain the
court’s permission to the department or delegated county adoption
agency responsible for the investigation of the proposed adoption.
Upon proof of giving notice, permission may be granted by the court
if, within a period of 15 days after the date of giving notice, no
objections are filed with the court by the department or delegated
county adoption agency. If the department or delegated county
adoption agency files objections within the 15-day period, upon the
request of the petitioners the court shall immediately set the matter
for hearing and give to the objector, the petitioners, and the party
or parties requesting permission for the removal reasonable notice
of the hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the
address of each as shown in the records of the adoption proceeding.
Upon a finding that the objections are without good cause, the court
may grant the requested permission for removal of the child, subject
to any limitations that appear to be in the child’s best interest.
(b) This section does not apply in any of the following
situations:
(1) Where the child is absent for a period of not more than 30
days from the county in which the adoption proceeding is pending,
unless a notice of recommendation of denial of petition has been
personally served on the petitioners or the court has issued an order
prohibiting the child’s removal from the county pending
consideration of any of the following:
(A) The suitability of the petitioners.
(B) The care provided the child.
(C) The availability of the legally required consents to the
adoption.
(2) Where the child has been returned to and remains in the
custody and control of the child’s birth parent or parents.
(c) A violation of this section is a violation of Section 280 of
the Penal Code.
(d) Neither this section nor Section 280 of the Penal Code may be
construed to render lawful any act that is unlawful under any other
applicable law.

8804. (a) Whenever the petitioners move to withdraw the petition
for the adoption or to dismiss the proceeding, the clerk of the court
in which the proceeding is pending shall immediately notify the
department at Sacramento of the action. The department or the
delegated county adoption agency shall file a full report with the
court recommending a suitable plan for the child in every case where
the petitioners move to withdraw the petition for the adoption or
where the department or delegated county adoption agency recommends
that the petition for adoption be denied and shall appear before the
court for the purpose of representing the child.
(b) Notwithstanding the withdrawal or dismissal of the petition,
the court may retain jurisdiction over the child for the purposes of
making any order for the child’s custody that the court deems to be
in the child’s best interest.
(c) If a birth parent who did not place a child for adoption as
specified in Section 8801.3 has refused to give the required consent,
or a birth parent revokes consent as specified in Section 8814.5,
the child shall be restored to the care and custody of the birth
parent or parents, unless the court orders otherwise, subject to
Section 3041.

8805. At the hearing, if the court sustains the recommendation of
the department or delegated county adoption agency that the child be
removed from the home of the petitioners because the department or
agency recommends denial or if the petitioners move to withdraw the
petition or if the court dismisses the petition and does not return
the child to the birth parents, the court shall commit the child to
the care of the department or delegated county adoption agency,
whichever made the recommendation, for the department or agency to
arrange adoptive placement or to make a suitable plan. In those
counties not served by a delegated county adoption agency, the county
welfare department shall act as the agent of the department and
shall provide care for the child in accordance with rules and
regulations established by the department.

8806. The department or delegated county adoption agency shall
accept the consent of the birth parents to the adoption of the child
by the petitioners and, before filing its report with the court,
shall ascertain whether the child is a proper subject for adoption
and whether the proposed home is suitable for the child.

8807. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), within
180 days after receiving 50 percent of the fee, the department or
delegated county adoption agency shall investigate the proposed
independent adoption and, after the remaining balance of the fee is
paid, submit to the court a full report of the facts disclosed by its
inquiry with a recommendation regarding the granting of the
petition. If the petitioners have a valid preplacement evaluation or
a valid private agency adoption home study, as described in paragraph
(2) of subdivision (a) of Section 8810, and no new information has
been discovered and no new event has occurred subsequent to the
approval of the evaluation or home study that creates a reasonable
belief that further investigation is necessary, the department or
delegated county adoption agency may elect not to reinvestigate any
matters covered in the evaluation or home study, except that the
department shall complete all background clearances required by law.
(b) If the investigation establishes that there is a serious
question concerning the suitability of the petitioners, the care
provided to the child, or the availability of the consent to
adoption, the report shall be filed immediately.
(c) In its discretion, the court may allow additional time for the
filing of the report, after at least five days’ notice to the
petitioner or petitioners and an opportunity for the petitioner or
petitioners to be heard with respect to the request for additional
time.
(d) If a petitioner is a resident of a state other than
California, an updated and current home study report, conducted and
approved by a licensed adoption agency or other authorized resource
in the state in which the petitioner resides, shall be reviewed and
endorsed by the department or delegated county adoption agency, if
the standards and criteria established for a home study report in the
other state are substantially commensurate with the home study
standards and criteria established in California adoption
regulations.

8808. (a) The department or delegated county adoption agency shall
interview the petitioners within 45 working days, excluding legal
holidays, after the department or delegated county adoption agency
receives 50 percent of the investigation fee together with a stamped
file copy of the adoption petition.
(b) The department or delegated county adoption agency shall
interview all persons from whom consent is required and whose
addresses are known. The interview with the placing parent or parents
shall include, but not be limited to, discussion of any concerns or
problems that the parent has with the placement and, if the placing
parent was not interviewed as provided in Section 8801.7, the content
required in that interview. At the interview, the agency shall give
the parent an opportunity to sign either a statement revoking the
consent, or a waiver of the right to revoke consent, as provided in
Section 8814.5, unless the parent has already signed a waiver or the
time period allowed to revoke consent has expired.
(c) In order to facilitate the interview described in this
section, within five business days of filing the petition, the
petitioners shall provide the department or delegated county adoption
agency a stamped file copy of the petition together with 50 percent
of the fee, a copy of any valid preplacement evaluation or any valid
private agency adoption home study, as described in paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a) of Section 8810, and the names, addresses, and
telephone numbers of all parties to be interviewed, if known.

8810. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whenever a
petition is filed under this chapter for the adoption of a child, the
petitioner shall pay a nonrefundable fee to the department or to the
delegated county adoption agency for the cost of investigating the
adoption petition. Fifty percent of the payment shall be made to the
department or delegated county adoption agency at the time the
adoption petition is filed, and the remaining balance shall be paid
no later than the date determined by the department or the delegated
county adoption agency in an amount as follows:
(1) For petitions filed on and after October 1, 2008, four
thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500).
(2) For petitioners who have a valid preplacement evaluation less
than one year old pursuant to Section 8811.5, or a valid private
agency adoption home study less than two years old at the time of
filing a petition, one thousand five hundred fifty dollars ($1,550)
for a postplacement evaluation pursuant to Sections 8806 and 8807.
(b) Revenues produced by fees collected by the department pursuant
to subdivision (a) shall be used, when appropriated by the
Legislature, to fund only the direct costs associated with the state
program for independent adoptions. Revenues produced by fees
collected by the delegated county adoption agency pursuant to
subdivision (a) shall be used by the county to fund the county
program for independent adoptions.
(c) The department or delegated county adoption agency may reduce
the fee to no less than five hundred dollars ($500) when the
prospective adoptive parents are lower income, according to the
income limits published by the Department of Housing and Community
Development, and when making the required payment would be
detrimental to the welfare of an adopted child. The department shall
develop additional guidelines regarding income and assets to
determine the financial criteria for reduction of the fee under this
subdivision.

8811. (a) The department or delegated county adoption agency shall
require each person who files an adoption petition to be
fingerprinted and shall secure from an appropriate law enforcement
agency any criminal record of that person to determine whether the
person has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic
violation. The department or delegated county adoption agency may
also secure the person’s full criminal record, if any, with the
exception of any convictions for which relief has been granted
pursuant to Section 1203.49 of the Penal Code. Any federal-level
criminal offender record requests to the Department of Justice shall
be submitted with fingerprint images and related information required
by the Department of Justice for the purposes of obtaining
information as to the existence and content of a record of an
out-of-state or federal conviction or arrest of a person or
information regarding any out-of-state or federal crimes or arrests
for which the Department of Justice establishes that the person is
free on bail, or on his or her own recognizance pending trial or
appeal. The Department of Justice shall forward to the Federal Bureau
of Investigation any requests for federal summary criminal history
information received pursuant to this section. The Department of
Justice shall review the information returned from the Federal Bureau
of Investigation and shall compile and disseminate a response to the
department or delegated county adoption agency.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), the criminal record, if any,
shall be taken into consideration when evaluating the prospective
adoptive parent, and an assessment of the effects of any criminal
history on the ability of the prospective adoptive parent to provide
adequate and proper care and guidance to the child shall be included
in the report to the court.
(c) (1) The department or a delegated county adoption agency shall
not give final approval for an adoptive placement in any home in
which the prospective adoptive parent or any adult living in the
prospective adoptive home has either of the following:
(A) A felony conviction for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse,
crimes against a child, including child pornography, or for a crime
involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but
not including other physical assault and battery. For purposes of
this subdivision, crimes involving violence means those violent
crimes contained in clause (i) of subparagraph (A), and subparagraph
(B), of paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the
Health and Safety Code.
(B) A felony conviction that occurred within the last five years
for physical assault, battery, or a drug- or alcohol-related offense.
(2) This subdivision shall become operative on October 1, 2008,
and shall remain operative only to the extent that compliance with
its provisions is required by federal law as a condition of receiving
funding under Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act (42
U.S.C. 670 et seq.).
(d) Any fee charged by a law enforcement agency for fingerprinting
or for checking or obtaining the criminal record of the petitioner
shall be paid by the petitioner. The department or delegated county
adoption agency may defer, waive, or reduce the fee when its payment
would cause economic hardship to the prospective adoptive parents
detrimental to the welfare of the adopted child, when the child has
been in the foster care of the prospective adoptive parents for at
least one year, or if necessary for the placement of a special-needs
child.

8811.5. (a) A licensed private or public adoption agency of the
state of the petitioners’ residency may certify prospective adoptive
parents by a preplacement evaluation that contains a finding that an
individual is suited to be an adoptive parent.
(b) The preplacement evaluation shall include an investigation
pursuant to standards included in the regulations governing
independent adoption investigations established by the department.
Fees for the investigation shall be commensurate with those fees
charged for a comparable investigation conducted by the department or
by a delegated licensed county adoption agency.
(c) The preplacement evaluation, whether it is conducted for the
purpose of initially certifying prospective adoptive parents or for
renewing that certification, shall be completed no more than one year
prior to the signing of an adoption placement agreement. The cost
for renewal of that certification shall be in proportion to the
extent of the work required to prepare the renewal that is
attributable to changes in family circumstances.

8812. Any request by a birth parent or birth parents for payment by
the prospective adoptive parents of attorney’s fees, medical fees
and expenses, counseling fees, or living expenses of the birth mother
shall be in writing. The birth parent or parents shall, by
first-class mail or other agreed upon means to ensure receipt,
provide the prospective adoptive parents written receipts for any
money provided to the birth parent or birth parents. The prospective
adoptive parents shall provide the receipts to the court when the
accounting report required pursuant to Section 8610 is filed.

8813. At or before the time a consent to adoption is signed, the
department or delegated county adoption agency shall advise the birth
parent signing the consent, verbally and in writing, that the birth
parent may, at any time in the future, request from the department or
agency, all known information about the status of the child’s
adoption, except for personal, identifying information about the
adoptive family. The birth parent shall be advised that this
information includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Whether the child has been placed for adoption.
(b) The approximate date that an adoption was completed.
(c) If the adoption was not completed or was vacated, for any
reason, whether adoptive placement of the child is again being
considered.

8814. (a) Except as provided in Section 7662, the consent of the
birth parent or parents who did not place the child for adoption, as
described in Section 8801.3, to the adoption shall be signed in the
presence of an agent of the department or of a delegated county
adoption agency on a form prescribed by the department. The consent
shall be filed with the clerk of the appropriate superior court.
(b) The consent described in subdivision (a), when reciting that
the person giving it is entitled to the sole custody of the child and
when acknowledged before that agent, is prima facie evidence of the
right of the person making it to the sole custody of the child and
that person’s sole right to consent.
(c) If the birth parent described in subdivision (a) is located
outside this state for an extended period of time unrelated to the
adoption at the time of signing the consent, the consent may be
signed before a notary or other person authorized to perform notarial
acts, and in that case the consent of the department or of the
delegated county adoption agency is also necessary.
(d) A birth parent who is a minor has the right to sign a consent
for the adoption of the birth parent’s child and the consent is not
subject to revocation by the birth parent by reason of minority, or
because the parent or guardian of the consenting minor parent was not
served with notice that the minor parent consented to the adoption,
unless the minor parent has previously provided written authorization
to serve his or her parent or guardian with that notice.

8814.5. (a) After a consent to the adoption is signed by the birth
parent or parents pursuant to Section 8801.3 or 8814, the birth
parent or parents signing the consent shall have 30 days to take one
of the following actions:
(1) Sign and deliver to the department or delegated county
adoption agency a written statement revoking the consent and
requesting the child to be returned to the birth parent or parents.
After revoking consent, in cases where the birth parent or parents
have not regained custody, or the birth parent or parents have failed
to make efforts to exercise their rights under subdivision (b) of
Section 8815, a written notarized statement reinstating the original
consent may be signed and delivered to the department or delegated
county adoption agency, in which case the revocation of consent shall
be void and the remainder of the original 30-day period shall
commence. After revoking consent, in cases in which the birth parent
or parents have regained custody or made efforts to exercise their
rights under subdivision (b) of Section 8815 by requesting the return
of the child, upon the delivery of a written notarized statement
reinstating the original consent to the department or delegated
county adoption agency, the revocation of consent shall be void and a
new 30-day period shall commence. The birth mother shall be informed
of the operational timelines associated with this section at the
time of signing of the statement reinstating the original consent.
(2) (A) Sign a waiver of the right to revoke consent on a form
prescribed by the department in the presence of any of the following:
(i) A representative of the department or delegated county
adoption agency.
(ii) A judicial officer of a court of record if the birth parent
is represented by independent legal counsel.
(iii) An adoption service provider, including, but not limited to,
the adoption service provider who advised the birth mother and
witnessed the signing of the consent, if the birth parent or parents
are represented by independent legal counsel. The adoption service
provider shall ensure that the waiver is delivered to the department,
the petitioners, or their counsel no earlier than the end of the
business day following the signing of the waiver. The adoption
service provider shall inform the birth parent that during this time
period he or she may request that the waiver be withdrawn and that,
if he or she makes that request, the waiver shall be withdrawn.
(B) An adoption service provider may assist the birth parent or
parents in any activity where the primary purpose of that activity is
to facilitate the signing of the waiver with the department, a
delegated county agency, or a judicial officer. The adoption service
provider or another person designated by the birth parent or parents
may also be present at any interview conducted pursuant to this
section to provide support to the birth parent or parents, except
when the interview is conducted by independent legal counsel for the
birth parent or parents.
(C) The waiver of the right to revoke consent may not be signed
until an interview has been completed by the department or delegated
county adoption agency unless the waiver of the right to revoke
consent is signed in the presence of a judicial officer of a court of
record or an adoption service provider as specified in this section.
If the waiver is signed in the presence of a judicial officer, the
interview and the witnessing of the signing of the waiver shall be
conducted by the judicial officer. If the waiver is signed in the
presence of an adoption service provider, the interview shall be
conducted by the independent legal counsel for the birth parent or
parents. If the waiver is to be signed in the presence of an adoption
service provider, prior to the waiver being signed the waiver shall
be reviewed by the independent legal counsel who (i) counsels the
birth parent or parents about the nature of his or her intended
waiver and (ii) signs and delivers to the birth parent or parents and
the department a certificate in substantially the following form:

I, (name of attorney), have counseled my client, (name of client),
on the nature and legal effect of the waiver of right to revoke
consent to adoption. I am so disassociated from the interest of the
petitioner(s)/prospective adoptive parent(s) as to be in a position
to advise my client impartially and confidentially as to the
consequences of the waiver. (Name of client) is aware that California
law provides for a 30-day period during which a birth parent may
revoke consent to adoption. On the basis of this counsel, I conclude
that it is the intent of (name of client) to waive the right to
revoke, and make a permanent and irrevocable consent to adoption.
(Name of client) understands that he/she will not be able to regain
custody of the child unless the petitioner(s)/prospective adoptive
parent(s) agree(s) to withdraw their petition for adoption or the
court denies the adoption petition.

(D) Within 10 working days of a request made after the department
or the delegated county adoption agency has received a copy of the
petition for the adoption and the names and addresses of the persons
to be interviewed, the department or the delegated county adoption
agency shall interview, at the department or agency office, any birth
parent requesting to be interviewed.
(E) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (C), the interview, and
the witnessing of the signing of a waiver of the right to revoke
consent of a birth parent residing outside of California or located
outside of California for an extended period of time unrelated to the
adoption may be conducted in the state where the birth parent is
located, by any of the following:
(i) A representative of a public adoption agency in that state.
(ii) A judicial officer in that state where the birth parent is
represented by independent legal counsel.
(iii) An adoption service provider.
(3) Allow the consent to become a permanent consent on the 31st
day after signing.
(b) The consent may not be revoked after a waiver of the right to
revoke consent has been signed or after 30 days, beginning on the
date the consent was signed or as provided in paragraph (1) of
subdivision (a), whichever occurs first.

8815. (a) Once the revocable consent to adoption has become
permanent as provided in Section 8814.5, the consent to the adoption
by the prospective adoptive parents may not be withdrawn.
(b) Before the time when the revocable consent becomes permanent
as provided in Section 8814.5, the birth parent or parents may
request return of the child. In that case the child shall immediately
be returned to the requesting birth parent or parents, unless a
court orders otherwise.
(c) If the person or persons with whom the child has been placed
have concerns that the birth parent or parents requesting return of
the child are unfit or present a danger of harm to the child, that
person or those persons may report their concerns to the appropriate
child welfare agency. These concerns shall not be a basis for failure
to immediately return the child, unless a court orders otherwise.

8816. In an independent adoption where the consent of the birth
parent or parents is not necessary, the department or delegated
county adoption agency shall, before the hearing of the petition,
file its consent to the adoption with the clerk of the court in which
the petition is filed. The consent may not be given unless the child’
s welfare will be promoted by the adoption.

8817. (a) A written report on the child’s medical background, and
if available, the medical background of the child’s biological
parents so far as ascertainable, shall be made by the department or
delegated county adoption agency as part of the study required by
Section 8806.
(b) The report on the child’s background shall contain all known
diagnostic information, including current medical reports on the
child, psychological evaluations, and scholastic information, as well
as all known information regarding the child’s developmental history
and family life.
(c) The report shall be submitted to the prospective adoptive
parents who shall acknowledge its receipt in writing.
(d) (1) The biological parents may provide a blood sample at a
clinic or hospital approved by the State Department of Health
Services. The biological parents’ failure to provide a blood sample
shall not affect the adoption of the child.
(2) The blood sample shall be stored at a laboratory under
contract with the State Department of Health Services for a period of
30 years following the adoption of the child.
(3) The purpose of the stored sample of blood is to provide a
blood sample from which DNA testing can be done at a later date after
entry of the order of adoption at the request of the adoptive
parents or the adopted child. The cost of drawing and storing the
blood samples shall be paid for by a separate fee in addition to the
fee required under Section 8810. The amount of this additional fee
shall be based on the cost of drawing and storing the blood samples
but at no time shall the additional fee be more than one hundred
dollars ($100).
(e) (1) The blood sample shall be stored and released in such a
manner as to not identify any party to the adoption.
(2) Any results of the DNA testing shall be stored and released in
such a manner as to not identify any party to the adoption.

8818. (a) The department shall adopt a statement to be presented to
the birth parents at the time the consent to adoption is signed and
to prospective adoptive parents at the time of the home study. The
statement shall, in a clear and concise manner and in words
calculated to ensure the confidence of the birth parents in the
integrity of the adoption process, communicate to the birth parent of
a child who is the subject of an adoption petition all of the
following facts:
(1) It is in the child’s best interest that the birth parents keep
the department informed of any health problems that the parent
develops that could affect the child.
(2) It is extremely important that the birth parent keep an
address current with the department in order to permit a response to
inquiries concerning medical or social history.
(3) Section 9203 of the Family Code authorizes a person who has
been adopted and who attains the age of 21 years to request the
department to disclose the name and address of the adoptee’s birth
parents. Consequently, it is of the utmost importance that the birth
parent indicate whether to allow this disclosure by checking the
appropriate box provided on the form.
(4) The birth parent may change the decision whether to permit
disclosure of the birth parent’s name and address, at any time, by
sending a notarized letter to that effect, by certified mail, return
receipt requested, to the department.
(5) The consent will be filed in the office of the clerk of the
court in which the adoption takes place. The file is not open to
inspection by any persons other than the parties to the adoption
proceeding, their attorneys, and the department, except upon order of
a judge of the superior court.
(b) The department shall adopt a form to be signed by the birth
parents at the time the consent to adoption is signed, which shall
provide as follows:

“Section 9203 of the Family Code authorizes a person who has been
adopted and who attains the age of 21 years to make a request to the
State Department of Social Services, or the licensed adoption agency
that joined in the adoption petition, for the name and address of the
adoptee’s birth parents. Indicate by checking one of the boxes below
whether or not you wish your name and address to be disclosed:
/_/ YES
/_/ NO
/_/ UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME; WILL NOTIFY
AGENCY AT LATER DATE.”

8819. When the parental rights of a birth parent are terminated
pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of
Division 12 or Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12,
the department or delegated county adoption agency shall send a
written notice to the birth parent, if the birth parent’s address is
known, that contains the following statement:
“You are encouraged to keep the department or this agency informed
of your current address in order to permit a response to any inquiry
concerning medical or social history made by or on behalf of the
child who was the subject of the court action terminating parental
rights.”

8820. (a) The birth parent or parents or the petitioner may appeal
in either of the following cases:
(1) If for a period of 180 days from the date of paying 50 percent
of the fee, or upon the expiration of any extension of the period
granted by the court, the department or delegated county adoption
agency fails or refuses to accept the consent of the birth parent or
parents to the adoption.
(2) In a case where the consent of the department or delegated
county adoption agency is required by this chapter, if the department
or agency fails or refuses to file or give its consent to the
adoption after full payment has been received.
(b) The appeal shall be filed in the court in which the adoption
petition is filed. The court clerk shall immediately notify the
department or delegated county adoption agency of the appeal and the
department or agency shall, within 10 days, file a report of its
findings and the reasons for its failure or refusal to consent to the
adoption or to accept the consent of the birth parent or parents.
(c) After the filing of the report by the department or delegated
county adoption agency, the court may, if it deems that the welfare
of the child will be promoted by that adoption, allow the signing of
the consent by the birth parent or parents in open court or, if the
appeal is from the refusal of the department or delegated county
adoption agency to consent thereto, grant the petition without the
consent.
(d) This section shall become operative on October 1, 2008.

8821. When any report or findings are submitted to the court by the
department or a delegated county adoption agency, a copy of the
report or findings, whether favorable or unfavorable, shall be given
to the petitioner’s attorney in the proceeding, if the petitioner has
an attorney of record, or to the petitioner.

8822. (a) If the findings of the department or delegated county
adoption agency are that the home of the petitioners is not suitable
for the child or that the required consents are not available and the
department or agency recommends that the petition be denied, or if
the petitioners desire to withdraw the petition and the department or
agency recommends that the petition be denied, the clerk upon
receipt of the report of the department or agency shall immediately
refer it to the court for review.
(b) Upon receipt of the report, the court shall set a date for a
hearing of the petition and shall give reasonable notice of the
hearing to the department or delegated county adoption agency, the
petitioners, and the birth parents by certified mail, return receipt
requested, to the address of each as shown in the proceeding.
(c) The department or delegated county adoption agency shall
appear to represent the child.

8823. The prospective adoptive parents and the child proposed to be
adopted shall appear before the court pursuant to Sections 8612 and
8613.