Court Jurisdiction and Venue for Adoption Petitions - California

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Jurisdiction

Citation: Fam. Code § 200; Welf. & Inst. Code § 366.3(a)(1)

The superior court has jurisdiction over proceedings under the Family Code.

If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of adoption, Tribal customary adoption, or adoption of a nonminor dependent pursuant to § 366.31(f), the court shall retain jurisdiction over the child or nonminor dependent until the child or nonminor dependent is adopted.

Venue

Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8609.5; 9000

An adoption request for the adoption of a nondependent minor may be filed with the court in the county in which one of the following applies:

  • Where the petitioner resides
  • Where the child was born or resides at the time of filing
  • Where an office of the agency that placed the child for adoption is located
  • Where an office of the Department of Social Services or a public adoption agency that is investigating the petition is located
  • Where a placing birth parent or parents resided when the adoptive placement agreement, consent, or relinquishment was signed
  • Where a placing birth parent or parents resided when the petition was filed
  • Where the child was freed for adoption

A stepparent who wishes to adopt a child of the stepparent's spouse may file a petition for that purpose in the county in which the petitioner resides.

A domestic partner who wishes to adopt a child of the other domestic partner may file a petition for that purpose in the county in which the petitioner resides.