36 years, 1,200 cases
Randall Hicks limits his practice to stepparent adoption and adult adoption. He is the author of several leading adoption books, most recently STEP PARENTING: 50 One-Minute DOs & DON'Ts for Stepdads & Stepmoms and ADOPTING IN AMERICA: How To Adopt Within One Year (for adoptive parents planning a traditional adoption, revised edition 2018). He has dedicated his law practice to adoptions for 34 years and is a member of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers. He has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is rated "preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating (achieved by only 10% of all attorneys in the US).
Virtually all other attorneys doing stepparent and adult adoptions are family law practitioners, meaning 99% of their practice is likely divorce and child custody. Because Randy does nothing but adoptions, he believes he can do them better, faster, and less expensively. Most importantly, his approach is very personal as he understands the importance of the creation of a family and had dedicated his professional life to that one goal.
His Stepparent Adoption Center features a flat legal fee of only $1,850 for adult adoptions (adopting a person or stepchild age 18 and over) which includes all legal documents and the final court hearing, even the court filing fee and his office costs. Stepparent adoptions of a minor child (under age 18) are a flat legal fee of $2,500. This includes not only the usual work associated with the adoption (preparing all the needed legal documents, preparing the absent parent's consent and requesting their consent and the final adoption hearing. Extra legal fees can occur in a stepparent adoption (of a minor child) if the absent parent can't be found or won't consent as extra legal proceedings would be required. Randy also completes the paperwork to generate an amended birth certificate for the adoptee, naming the adopting parent or stepparent as one of the birth parents, and changing the child's name as desired. Amended birth certificates can also be created in adult adoptions.
Thanks to a change in the California Family Code in 2017, most attorneys don't know that stepparent investigations can now be done by a private adoption agency, not just the county entity. This means that the typical time to complete can be reduced to about 3-4 months, rather than 12 - 15 months when done by the county. (Adult adoptions do not require any home study or investigation so are usually faster.)
Randy's books, and their focus on ethical and affordable adoption, have been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, and on television programs like CBS This Morning, The Home Show, Mike & Maty, Leeza Gibbons, and Sally Jessy Raphael. Randy was also the host of the 1991 PBS educational series, Adoption Forum.
For information about stepparent adoption, please visit StepparentAdoptionCenter.com. For adult adoption, please visit RandallHicks.com. He has offices in Riverside, San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties. His initial consultation is free and typically takes about 30 minutes to fully explain the steppparent or adult adoption process to you. You can elect to do this by phone or video (Zoom), so you don't need to take time off work to travel to his office.
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.