Revoking Consent for Adoption in California

No matter which type of adoption you select, you have the legal right at any time prior to adoption finalization to ask about the status of the case.

As your adoption professional, our goal is to ensure you that you are fully comfortable with your adoption decision before it is time to sign the adoption paperwork. However, you legally have the right to change your mind at any point during the adoption process, and in some cases, you may even change your mind after giving your consent. 

Your Rights in Your Adoption Plan

When you choose to make an adoption plan with FCCA, you can:

  • Explore all of your options. Your adoption social worker will work closely with you to ensure you are 100% confident in your adoption decision. You will be able to explore all of your options — not just adoption — and receive the emotional support and adoption information you need to make the best choice for yourself and your baby.
     
  • Discontinue the adoption process at any time. You are in control of your adoption plan, and that means you can choose to discontinue the adoption process at any time during your pregnancy. You are never obligated to continue with the adoption process until you have legally executed consent and your revocation period has passed.
     
  • Change your mind after signing. You may be able to change your mind and withdraw your consent even after signing the legal paperwork. Below, learn more about revocation periods and procedures in California.

Revocation in Independent Adoptions

For independent adoptions, you have 30 calendar days after signing the consent to change your mind. However, if you signed a Waiver of the Right to Revoke Consent in front of a judge, your consent is immediately irrevocable, and you cannot change your mind.

If you signed a Waiver of the Right to Revoke Consent in front of an Adoption Service Provider (like your FCCA social worker) or a representative of the Department, you can change your mind until the Waiver becomes final at the close of the next business day after signing.

Revocation in Agency Adoptions

For agency adoptions, you have the right to change your mind and revoke the relinquishment until the earlier of:

  • Ten business days since the adoption agency filed your relinquishment documents with the Department of Social Services; or
     
  • The Department has issued a written Acknowledgment of the relinquishment documents

There are some exceptions in agency adoptions. For example, if you put a “hold” on the relinquishment for a specific document, or if the designated adoptive parents are unable or unwilling to finalize the adoption, your revocation period may be extended. Also, if you signed a Waiver of the Right to Revoke in front of a judge, your consent is immediately irrevocable, and you cannot change your mind. If you signed a Waiver of the Right to Revoke in front of your FCCA social worker or a representative of the Department, you can change your mind until the Waiver becomes final at the close of the next business day after signing.

Each case is unique, so these general guidelines are just that — general. When it comes to your own adoption plan, we will discuss each option available to you, and you will make the decision about whether agency or independent adoption is right for you and your baby.

In addition, your social worker will thoroughly explain your rights and ensure you fully understand consent and revocation before it is time to sign the legal adoption documents after your baby is born.

Contact Us

No matter which type of adoption you select, you have the legal right at any time prior to adoption finalization to ask about the status of the case. If you are wondering whether your consent or relinquishment is final, or whether the adoption is final, please call us. We will gladly answer your questions!

To learn more about consent, relinquishment, revocation and other legal processes impacting birth parents in California, please call an adoption social worker at 844-77-ADOPT for free and with no obligation.