(1) The petition for the adoption of a dependent child who has been freed for adoption may be filed in the juvenile court with jurisdiction over the dependency.
(2) All adoption petitions must be completed on Adoption Request (form ADOPT-200) and must be verified. In addition, the petitioner must complete Adoption Agreement (form ADOPT-210) and Adoption Order (form ADOPT-215).
(3) A petitioner seeking to adopt an Indian child must also complete Adoption of Indian Child (form ADOPT-220). If applicable, Parent of Indian Child Agrees to End Parental Rights (form ADOPT-225) may be filed.
(4) The clerk must open a confidential adoption file for each child and this file must be separate and apart from the dependency file, with an adoption case number different from the dependency case number.
(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 1996, January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2004.)
The clerk of the court must give notice of the adoption hearing to:
(1) Any attorney of record for the child;
(2) Any CASA volunteer;
(3) The child welfare agency;
(4) The tribe of an Indian child; and
(5) The California Department of Social Services. The notice to the California Department of Social Services must include a copy of the completed Adoption Request (form ADOPT-200) and a copy of any adoptive placement agreement or agency joinder filed in the case.
(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2004.)
If the petition for adoption is filed in the juvenile court, the proceeding for adoption must be heard in juvenile court once appellate rights have been exhausted. Each petitioner and the child must be present at the hearing. The hearing may be heard by a referee if the referee is acting as a temporary judge.
(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2004.)
The record must reflect that the court has read and considered the assessment prepared for the hearing held under section 366.26 and as required by section 366.22(b), the report of any CASA volunteer, and any other reports or documents admitted into evidence.
(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2004.)
The preparer of the assessment may be called and examined by any party to the adoption proceeding.
(1) At the hearing, each adoptive parent must execute Adoption Agreement (form ADOPT-210) in the presence of and with the acknowledgment of the court.
(2) If the child to be adopted is 12 years of age or older, he or she must also execute Adoption Agreement (form ADOPT-210), except in the case of a tribal customary adoption.
(Subd (f) amended effective July 1, 2010; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, January 1, 2004, and January 1, 2007.)
(g) Dismissal of jurisdiction.
If the petition for adoption is granted, the juvenile court must dismiss the dependency, terminate jurisdiction over the child, and vacate any previously set review hearing dates. A completed Termination of Dependency (Juvenile) (form JV-364) must be filed in the child's juvenile dependency file.
(Subd (g) amended January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2004.)
Rule 5.730 amended effective July 1, 2010; adopted as rule 1464 effective July 1, 1995; previously amended effective January 1, 1996, January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2004; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.
Advisory Committee Comment
Family Code section 8600.5 exempts tribal customary adoption from various provisions of the Family Code applicable to adoptions generally, including section 8602, which requires the consent of a child over the age of 12 to an adoption. However, under Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.24(c)(7), "[t]he child, birth parents, or Indian custodian and the tribal customary adoptive parents and their counsel, if applicable, may present evidence to the tribe regarding the tribal customary adoption and the child's best interest." Under Welfare and Institutions Code section 317(e), for all children over 4 years of age, the attorney for the child must determine the child's wishes and advise the court of the child's wishes. Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.31(e) provides that "[w]here appropriate, the placement preference of the Indian child, when of sufficient age, . . . shall be considered." This is consistent with Guideline F-3 of the Guidelines for State Courts; Indian Child Custody Proceedings issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on November 26, 1979, which recognizes that the request and wishes of a child of sufficient age are important in making an effective placement. The committee concludes, therefore, that while the consent of a child over the age of 12 is not required for a tribal customary adoption, the wishes of a child are still an important and appropriate factor for the court to consider and for children's counsel to ascertain and present to the court when determining whether tribal customary adoption is the appropriate permanent plan for an Indian child.