Many local laws and courts have been affected by COVID-19. Please use the search for legal help tool to find a legal aid organization or self help center near you for accurate information and more support.
If you cannot afford the filing fee or other court costs, you may qualify to have these fees and costs waived by the court.
Read about where to file your lawsuit or case. Information on jurisdiction and venue.
This section will give you general guidelines for how to best prepare yourself for court.
Whatever the reason, you have the right to represent yourself, to be your own lawyer in all cases in California.
Family changes: birth or adoption, domestic partnership, marriage or divorce, or personal information changes; name or address changes; employment changes: leave of absence, leaving calpers membership, retirement, returning to work, or death/illness/injury; death or terminal illness: injury/disability
Guardianships, dependency proceedings, getting a child out of a shelter, visitation rights of grandparents, when permanent custody is necessary, adoption, foster care, public benefits, relative caregiver options chart, and school issues.
The Constitution; Executive and Administrative Laws; County, Appellate, Supreme Court, and Federal Districts; State Legislation; and Legal Guides.
This guide explains what you need to do if you were adopted, you think you are Native American, you live in California and/or were born in California, and you want to enroll in your tribe.
Find information about a state's laws and policies.
What is California's definition of special needs? What are the eligibility criteria for California's adoption assistance program? What is the maximum amount a family may receive in non-recurring adoption expense? Does California enter into deferred adoption assistance agreements? What types of postadoption services are available? What mental health services are provided? What is California's process for applying for a fair hearing?
Information and guides about all parts of the adoption process and system for children, families, parents, and others.
The official CA DSS page for the AAP.
An advocate for foster youth.
All non-biological parents still need an adoption (or parentage judgment from acourt), even if you are married and even if you are listed as a parent on the birthcertificate. New simplified adoption process to protect parentage. How it works. What forms do we need to fill out? Do we need an attorney? What if we don"t qualify for this simplified process?
What is Dependency? How can LSC help you? Can anyone other than Child Protective Services file a dependency petition? What happens next after Child Protective Services files a dependency petition? What if I am already in foster care and have questions? What if I am already in foster care and a Non-Minor Dependent (over the age of 18)? What if I have questions about AB12 or Higher Education? What if I exited foster care after the age of 18 but I want to come back in?
The process varies depending on the origin country.
A 1993 international agreement to certify and accredit the process.
Legal parentage, second-parent adoption, parentage judgments, custody, and parenting agreements.
Getting a social security number for a child.
This resource guide was designed to answer basic legal questions related to marriage, domestic partnerships, parenting, foster care, and youth issues.