Superior Court of California, County of Solano

Superior Court of California, County of Solano

Fairfield Branch | Vallejo Branch

Adoptions Court

Description and General Information

Adoption is a legal process whereby a person becomes a parent of a child with all moral and legal obligations accompanying the relationship as if the two were biological child and parent. The Adoptions Court processes four types of adoptions: Stepparent adoptions, independent adoptions, agency adoptions and inter-country adoptions.

Adoption Definitions:

Adoptive Parent(s): means a person who has obtained an order of adoption of a minor child or, in the case of an adult adoption, an adult.

Birth Parent: means the biological parent, or in the case of a person previously adopted, the adoptive parent.

Adoption Agency: means the adoption of a minor, other than an intercountry adoption, in which the California Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency is a party to, or joins in, the adoption request.

Independent Adoption: means the adoption of a child in which the California Department of Social Services is neither a party to or joins in the adoption request.

Intercountry Adoption: means the adoption of a foreign-born child for whom federal law makes a special immigration visa available.
Intercountry adoption includes completion of the adoption in the child's native country or completion of the adoption in the state of residency of the petitioner(s)/adopting parent(s).

Stepparent/Domestic Partner Adoption: means an adoption of a child by a stepparent or domestic partner where one birth parent retains custody and control of the child.

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Office Hours:

8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays

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Phone Hours:

8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays

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Drop Box Information

Effective January 14, 2013 our office hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The number of documents processed per person, law firm or filing agency will be limited to five (5) between the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The only exception to the five document limit will be if there is a statute running. For your convenience, there are drop boxes located in the door to the Civil Division Clerk's Office in Vallejo, and under the stairs on the second floor in the Hall of Justice in Fairfield, for dropping filing documents after 2:00 p.m.

Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. you may drop your papers for filing into the drop box located at either the Hall of Justice in Fairfield or the Solano Justice Center in Vallejo. Your papers will be file-stamped with the same date that they were placed into the drop box. If your filing requires a fee, please securely attach a check, DO NOT ATTACH CASH, to your documents.  If a self-addressed, stamped envelope is provided, endorse-filed copies will be returned to you by mail. If an envelope is not provided, your copies will be available for thirty (30) days in the pick up box located in the clerk's office.

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Locations, Phone Numbers and Hearing Schedule

The calendar clerk's telephone number is (707) 207-7340.

Adoption hearings are held on Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the following departments of the Superior Court:

Honorable Cynda Unger

Department 5, Room 301
Hall of Justice
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 207-7305 Judicial Assistant

Honorable Christine A. Carringer

Department 12, Room 302
Hall of Justice
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 207-7312 Judicial Assistant

Honorable Garry T. Ichikawa

Department 14, Room 307
Hall of Justice
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 207-7314 Judicial Assistant

Honorable David L. Haet

Department 20, Room 105
Solano Justice Center
321 Tuolumne Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
 (707) 561-7820

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Filing Fees

Adoption Fees  
Petition for adoption (for each person to be adopted)

$  20.00

Court investigation fees for Petition to Terminate Parental Rights
Uncontested

$200.00

Court Investigation fees for Petition to Terminate Parental Rights
Contested

$400.00

Court Investigation fees for Home Study for Report on Stepparent Adoptions when parties opt out after investigation has started
Uncontested

$250.00

Court Investigation for Home Study for Report of Adoption on Stepparent Adoptions
Uncontested

$500.00

Court Investigation for Home Study for Report of Adoption on Stepparent Adoptions
Contested

 $600.00

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Stepparent / Domestic Partner Adoption

If you are filing a stepparent adoption or an adoption request for the child of a domestic partner, you must complete an Adoption Request (form ADOPT-200). This form is available in the Family Law/Probate/Adoptions Division of the Clerk's office. The form is also available online through the Judicial Council of California. To obtain a free copy online, visit the Judicial Council's website at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms and select "Adoption" from the drop down menu.

Please download the form entitled How to Adopt a Child in California (form ADOPT-50) for detailed information on the different types of adoption in California.

Once the Adoption Request form has been completed, it must be filed in the Family Law/Probate/Adoptions Division of the Clerk's office. The filing fee for an adoption is $20.00 per child. At that time, you will receive a Stepparent Adoption Packet. The Stepparent Adoption Packet provides you with instructions, information and the forms you will need to complete your stepparent/ domestic partner adoption.

After reviewing the entire Stepparent Adoption Packet, you should contact the Court Investigator's Office at (707) 207-7390. Staff in the Court Investigator's Office will collect all of the appropriate documents and information needed from you to conduct their investigation and prepare a report.

If a natural parent of the child refuses to sign a consent to the adoption or cannot be located or cannot be identified, a petition to terminate the natural parent's rights must be filed. The fee for the investigation into the petition to terminate parental rights is $200.00 for uncontested cases and $400.00 for contested cases. This amount is due prior to the commencement of the investigation. At the time the fees are paid, a hearing will be scheduled on the issue of termination of parental rights.

The Court Investigator will conduct an investigation and prepare a report recommending whether or not the natural parent's rights should be terminated. If the judge determines that the natural parent's rights will not be terminated, your adoption petition should be dismissed. If the judge rules that the natural parent's rights are terminated, the matter will be re-referred to the Court Investigators for a full home study.

The fee for the Court Investigator's home study/report is $500.00 for uncontested and $600.00 for contested. The Court Investigators will not begin their home study until the fees are paid in full. After the fees have been paid and the home study evaluation is complete, contact the clerk's office to arrange for a court date for the adoption. At the hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the adoption request.

The Court requires that the petitioner and child to be adopted attend the hearing. Please provide the following forms at the hearing (available in the Family Law/Probate/Adoptions Division of the Clerk's office, or online at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms and select "Adoption" from the drop down menu):

  1. An Adoption Agreement (form ADOPT-210), to be signed in the presence of the judge. If the child is 12 years or older, the child must also sign the agreement in the judge's presence.
  2. An Adoption Order (form ADOPT-215) with the name the child will now use inserted where indicated.

The signing of the order is usually a memorable occasion for the participants. Most Judges will not object if you wish to take photographs. Ask permission in advance.

Once the adoption has been approved and the Adoption Order has been signed, the Clerk of the Court shall prepare and submit a Court Report of Adoption to the Office of the State Registrar. The State Registrar will mail a certified copy of the new birth certificate to the petitioner.

For further information concerning adoption proceedings, please contact an attorney.

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Independent, Agency, Inter-Country Adoption

If you are filing an independent, agency or inter-country adoption, you must complete an Adoption Request (form ADOPT-200). This form is available in the Family Law/Probate/Adoptions Division of the Clerk's office. This form is also available online through the Judicial Council of California. To obtain a free copy online, visit the Judicial Council's website at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms and select "Adoption" from the drop down menu.

Once the Adoption Request has been completed, it must be filed in the Family Law/Probate/Adoptions Division of the Clerk's office. The filing fee for an adoption is $20.00 per child.

The California State Department of Social Services will perform the background investigation and home study for the adoption. After the initial Adoption Request is filed with the Court, you should contact the State Department of Social services to make arrangements and provide the necessary information for the home study.

If the natural parent of the child refuses to sign a consent to the adoption, cannot be located, or cannot be identified, a petition to terminate the natural parents' rights must be filed. Generally, the issue of termination of parental rights and the home study are combined into one report and submitted to the Court. The investigator will include in his/her report a recommendation as to whether the natural parent's rights should be terminated.

Once the home study has been filed and all other matters have been completed, contact the Clerk's office to arrange for a court date for the adoption. If the judge determines that the natural parents' rights will not be terminated, your Adoption Request should be dismissed. If the judge rules that the natural parents' rights are terminated, the judge will probably grant your Adoption Request.

The Court requires the petitioner(s) and the child to be adopted attend the hearing. The following forms must be submitted at the hearing (available in the Family Law/Probate/Adoptions Division of the Clerk's office, or online at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms and select "Adoption" from the drop down menu):

  1. A completed Adoption Expenses form (form ADOPT-230), which is current as of the date of the adoption.
  2. An Adoption Agreement (form ADOPT-210) to be signed in the presence of the judge. If the child is 12 years or older, the child must also sign the consent in the judge's presence.
  3. An Adoption Order (form ADOPT-215) with the name the child will now use inserted where indicated.

The signing of the order is usually a memorable occasion for the participants. Most judges will not object if you wish to take photographs. Ask permission in advance.

Once the adoption has been approved and the Adoption Order has been signed and filed, the Clerk of the Court shall submit the Court Report of Adoption to the Office of the State Registrar. The State Registrar will mail a certified copy of the new birth certificate to the petitioner(s).

For further information concerning adoption proceedings, please contact an attorney.

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Related Agencies

Court Investigators (707) 207-7390

Solano County Bar Association
744 Empire Street, Suite 201, Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone 707-422-5087
Fax 707-422-3860
Phone Lawyer Referral Service 707-422-0127

Law Library
Hall of Justice, 600 Union Avenue, Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone 707-421-6520
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday - Closed

Office of Vital Records
CA Department of Vital Records
MS-5103, P.O. Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
Phone (916) 445-2684
California Relay: 711/1-800-735-2929
www.dhs.ca.gov (then select "Services")


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