I am planning to adopt my grandson in the juvenile dependency system. He has been with me for years and it looks like parental rights will be terminated. If all goes well, what is the cost to me to adopt? Home study fees, court fees, etc? I know there is a fee waiver i can apply for, but pretty sure i will not qualify. Thank you.
Altogether, including attorney's fees and some other fees, you're looking at about $5000 to $10,000.
Before accepting any answer as a final answer, you should have your case reviewed by an attorney. No attorney on Avvo has read your paperwork and therefore cannot give a completely valid answer suited to your case.
If your GS became a ward of the court because of a 300 Petition filed against your son or daughter, and you already have custody of him, then I would check with the social worker because I think in that system the cost is much less than a regular adoption as the background check has likely already occurred. Here is a link to the agency in Orange County: http://ssa.ocgov.com/adopt
It depends on a couple of things. First, it depends on which county the dependency case is being heard in. In some Southern California counties, adoption agency staff help the adoptive parents fill out and file all the necessary court paperwork and help get the case on the court's calendar for the finalization hearing. The adoptive parents finalize without representation by an attorney. In other counties, such as Los Angeles, the adoptive parents have the option of retaining pro bono (free) attorneys, or hiring private counsel to represent them in the finalization process. Private attorneys charge different fees, but in general, because County Counsel attorneys do the legal work leading up to the finalization part of the case, fees are probably between $400.00 to $500.00 per case. In general, adoptive parents do not have to pay for the home study or even court costs in Dependency adoptions. They may have to pay for live-scanning, but I don't think that would be more than $70.00 - $80.00. Dependency adoptions are very different than private, independent adoptions when it comes to fees and costs. In LA County, the court filing fee is waived in Dependency adoptions.
Where I practice, The CPS caseworker changes to the Adoption specialist social worker. The County does the legal work. The real cost is that of raising a child.
You might want to seek guidance regarding adoption v. Guardianship. There are pros and cons to each.
Prospective adoptive foster parents often seek representation by an attorney for all sorts of reasons. That usually ranges from $2500 to $5000.
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