Family Formation

Family law encompasses much more than dissolution and custody disputes; it also includes legal mechanisms that enable individuals and couples to form new families. When deciding to create a family, whether through traditional or alternative methods, it is important to seek advice regarding the legality of the parent and child relationship. Some individuals or couples may be considering a stepparent adoption, second parent adoption, agency adoption or adoption of a dependent adult. Others may be using assisted reproductive techniques to create a family, such as in vitro fertilization or surrogacy. There are multiple options for expanding families and each presents unique and often complex legal issues that require the legal expertise of an experienced family law attorney.

Kinna Crocker knows the legal and emotional intricacies of family formation, both as an attorney and as a mother of adopted children. Kinna has a passion for assisting individuals and couples in creating their unique families, and she will work diligently to ensure that your family connections are bound not only by love, but also by law.
With so many ways to form a family, your attorney should have a strong basis of understanding that encompasses both the orthodox and the nontraditional landscapes. With adoption on the rise, Kinna Crocker has developed unprecedented expertise in harnessing the power of law to put it to work for you. Clients undergoing fertility therapies or participating in surrogacy dynamics have found immeasurable support from her.

 

Formation

Adoption

Second parent adoption is available to secure parentage for same sex couples. Stepparent adoption secures parental rights between stepparents and stepchildren. Dependent adults can also be adopted to ensure they are cared for and can receive inheritance rights.

Cohabitation

When parties live together but choose not to enter into a formal legal relationship (marriage or registered domestic partnership), they may not realize that a pseudo-legal relationship may be created. The case of Marvin v. Marvin provides precedent for unmarried/unregistered couples potentially being required to share property and provide each other support in the event of a breakup. Cohabitation agreements are useful in setting forth the parties’ intentions regarding property and support in the event they are no longer together.

Domestic Partnership registration

Registering as a domestic partner and choosing not to marry may provide benefits to certain couples. Receive advice regarding the ins and outs of domestic partnership registration to determine whether registration is the right choice.

Marriage

Understanding community property rules and the legal obligations that come with marriage can be very useful when determining whether to marry. Many couples choose to enter into premarital/prenuptial agreements to set forth intentions regarding property and support in the event of divorce. These agreements make the process of divorce much less expensive both financially and emotionally.

Name and/or Gender Change

California law allows for name changes and for legal gender changes. The gender marker on California birth certificates can be changed.

Surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy involves using an intended parent’s sperm or donated sperm and the surrogate’s egg. Gestational surrogacy involves using an intended parent’s sperm or donated sperm and an intended parent’s egg or donated egg. Surrogacy agreements are essential when using surrogacy to create a family.