Parentage | Adoption | Guardianship

San Mateo Adoption Lawyers

“There are so many kids who want and need love and support. Getting them into a family where that can happen, whether that means removing a parent, getting a new parent, or putting a grandparent in charge can make all the difference in that child’s life. We take their wellbeing very seriously.”

Kristen Van Antwerp

In California parentage cases, whatever is deemed best for the child wins.
So whether you want to add a parent, change a parent, or appoint a parent, if it’s in the child’s best interest, it’s possible with the help of a child custody lawyer, adoption lawyer, or guardianship lawyer.

Parentage is for people who wish to establish their legal status as a parent.
Parentage is the recognition of a parent’s legal relationship to a child. A paternity case is the establishing of parentage by determining a child’s legal parents. 

Parentage has many advantages. For a child, it means that that individual can receive an inheritance, financial support, and health and life insurance. For a parent, it means that they may be able to receive custody, parenting time, child support, and reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses.

Fathers have rights, too. If you’re a father who wishes to establish paternity, you may need an experienced child custody lawyer. Let us know if we can help.

Adoption is for people who wish to establish a legal status as a parent with a child they’re not related to biologically and to whom they did not give birth. 
That adoptive parent can be single or married, a woman or a man, a stepparent or a domestic partner of a birth parent, a blood relative or someone unrelated to the child. 

How are parentage and adoption established for same-sex parents?
For same-sex parents with a child who is born through assisted reproduction with a sperm or egg donor who is not the spouse of the birth parent, or through gestational surrogacy, parentage is extended to include the children of different-sex and female same-sex parents. Those same-sex parents can protect their legal parental rights through a simplified adoption process called stepparent adoption. 

The rights to custody, parenting time, and child support enjoyed by opposite sex partners are also available to same-sex couples once they establish parentage.

Guardianship is for people who want to establish a legal responsibility for a child whose parents are unable to care for them.
That guardian is responsible for providing the child with all basic needs – shelter, food, and clothing – and can make legal decisions about the child’s medical care, where the child goes to school, and what will keep the child safe and protected. If the child has a sizable estate, the guardian may also be established as guardian of the estate to look after the child’s money, income, or property.

Parentage issues can lead to both emotional and financial strain. 
Consulting with an experienced child custody lawyer, adoption lawyer or guardianship lawyer can help provide clarity and reduce some of the stressors surrounding concerns of parentage. If you have any questions regarding parentage or your rights, our attorneys are here to help you through every family law issue you encounter.


A legal parent-child relationship established by the court between a child and a parent who is not the child’s biological or birth parent.

Accepting the legal relationship and responsibilities of a parent and child relationship with someone who is 18 years or older.

Guardianship is when an adult, who is not a child’s parent, is legally responsible for the child’s care because the child’s parent is unable to care for them. It may also mean someone manages the child’s money or property if the child has a lot.

The court may appoint counsel to represent the best interest of a child in a family law proceeding on the court’s own motion or if requested to do so.

If you are a parent and your child was removed from the home because of child abuse or neglect, you are now a part of a juvenile dependency case. The court may limit or terminate your parental rights, decide to remove the child from your care, place your child with relatives or in foster care, or require you to engage in family reunification services. It is vital you consult with a child custody lawyer right away.

Case Story

A Guardianship Client
In Their

A Guardianship Client In Their Own Words

“My daughter has been drug addicted since she was 13, in and out rehabs and jail. And finally after 10 rehabs, she had a period of some clarity and she thought she’d like to have a child. As soon as her and her boyfriend conceived, he was gone. She never told us who he was and didn’t declare him on the birth certificate. For about two and a half years she was great, a doting mom. She adored Andrew, did everything for him, and she was sober. But the pandemic occurred and everything went south. On April 1, 2022, she packed up 2 suitcases and as soon as he fell sleep she was gone. She made it very clear she did not want to be followed.

For him it was very traumatic. We hoped that some day she gets herself straight and comes to her senses but it’s been 16 or 17 months now and finally we said, ‘Let’s just do this, she’s not coming back.’ No child deserves this. As a responsible grandparent you really don’t have any alternative. He has been with us his whole life.

I was lead to the firm by one of the parents at preschool where my grandson went. We needed a family lawyer to handle the guardianship and realized it was a good fit. They came highly recommended by a friend whose sister is an attorney.

Family law is different from other kinds, there’d be some emotion involved on their end. To choose this type of law, it would take a different type of personality. You’re repping people who do this for all the right reasons, you’re working with pretty good people who are trying to do the right thing by their family.

We’re very pleased with the experience. They’re very professional, very attentive to their client’s needs, and they get the job done, and that’s what you want in looking for a resolution because there’s emotion involved, this is personal. It’s your child, your grandchild, so you want to get it done.

What mattered to us is competence. We needed this process done as quickly as possible just to have one of these issues we’re dealing with behind us so we can focus on our grandson. This is his home. They moved it along as quickly as they could. Can’t think of any way the process could have worked out any better for all of us.”


Who Needs A Paternity Lawyer?

WHO NEEDS A PATERNITY LAWYER? A man gets a woman pregnant. They’re not married. She claims that he’s the father. He freaks out, buries his head in the sand, and


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If you’re looking for some of the best parentage, adoption, and guardianship lawyers in Silicon Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area, let’s talk. Call us at 650.343.3486 or email us here.

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The FOREFRONT A divorce & family law blog

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