Stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption in America. A typical stepparent adoption is where a woman has a child from a previous relationship, thereafter gets married, and her new husband wants to legally adopt the child to become the child's legal father. This means the new parent is now officially "dad," rather than "step-dad." For many families, particularly in the eyes of the child, this is the final step toward becoming a true family.

The absent father must usually give up his rights by signing a consent. If he can't be located - or won't cooperate - we can petition the court and ask to have his rights terminated. When the adoption is approved by the court, you have the option to have a new birth certificate issued for the child, legally changing their last name (usually to the adoptive father's last name).

Simple, straightforward and honest legal fees - that's our goal. And if you look at our fee schedule and Q & A page you will agree. Often legal fees can be expensive and worrisome, particularly when charged by the hour, and the final costs may be quite a bit more expensive than planned. With our flat fees, we've eliminated those concerns so you know your costs in advance.

An uncontested adoption (when the absent parent can be located and will sign a consent, or is deceased) costs only $1,500. This includes:

  • Initial consultation with Randy, as well as calls and correspondence with him to complete the adoption;
  • Preparation and filing of required documents: Adoption Request (and required attachments); Consent to Adoption; Memo to Set for Hearing; Adoption Order; Consent & Agreement; payment of court filing fee; submission of form for amended birth certificate;
  • Standard duties while case is active, including: Seek to contact the absent parent to request signing the Consent to Adoption; work with investigator approving the adoption; and contact with clients.
  • Randy sets the final court hearing and appears with you in court. Thanks to a new law effective January 1, 2017, most stepparent adoptions can be totally completed in about 3 months.


Randall B. Hicks is an attorney who limits his practice to adoption. He has practiced law for 30 years and is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law. He has outstanding qualifications in the adoption field:

  • Member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (only 24 attorneys are admitted in California) from 1992-2016. Randy terminated his membership in mid-2016 due to not having time to attend required out-of-state membership meetings.
  • Has advised the California Legislature in drafting adoption laws.
  • Author of the just-released book STEPPARENTING: 50 One-Minute DOs & DON'Ts for Stepdads & Stepmoms ("A brilliantly lean book. Highly recommended." —Library Journal), and two of the nation's most acclaimed adoption books describing how to do an affordable and loving adoption: Adopting in America: How To Adopt Within One Year; and Adoption: The Essential Guide. (Links are to Amazon.) To find books on helpful books on step parenting, visit, or watch their YouTube "9 books in 2 minutes" summary.
  • Randy and his books' philosophy of ethical and affordable adoption have been featured in major newspapers like The New York Times, Los Angeles TimesChicago Sun-Times, and on network television programs CBS This Morning, Sally Jessy Raphael, The Home Show, Mike & Maty and The Leeza Gibbons Show. Randy was also the host of the 1991 PBS series, Adoption Forum.


THREE LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU (view offices / directions):

  • 2030 Main Street, Suite 1300 (Wells Fargo Tower) • Irvine, CA • 949-260-4705
  • 11801 Pierce Street, Suite 200 • Riverside, CA 92505 • 951-787-8300
  • 4025 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 300 • San Diego, CA 92108 • 619-542-7715

Or. . .   just stay home and do a phone consultation with Randy.


Click here to order Randy's new book, released August 26, 2016 - STEPPARENTING: 50 One-Minute DOs & DON'Ts for Stepdads & Stepmoms on Amazon. ***Randy encourages all stepparents to read his book, so much so that if you become a client and let him know you've bought the book, he will discount his fee by the cost of the book ($9.95 and shipping for a print copy; $4.95 for ebook/Kindle). So you can get a copy for free.



It's easy to get started...

Step 1: Call Randy to get briefly acquainted and describe your case. Of, if you prefer, start with a confidential email to (Please first read our Q & A and Fee Schedule pages as they will definitely answer many of your initial questions.)
Step 2: Complete our short questionnaire so Randy can learn needed details about your case in advance of a consultation to advise you fully and give you the most complete consultation, and let you know if there are potential problems.
Step 3: Call or email Randy to set your free 15 minute consultation so he can discuss your case with both you and your spouse. (This can by by phone, Skype or in person). We recommend you talk to other attorneys, as well as Randy, then compare who clearly knows the subject better, and who is the most comfortable for you to talk to.
Step 4: After your consultation either retain him to start your stepparent adoption, or not, whichever you feel is best for you. Randy's retainer is simple and straight-forward and he will email it to you if you'd like to go forward. When he receives it back from you, he can begin work on your stepparent adoption. He believes in processing cases quickly so from the time he receives your retainer, he can almost always have the completed Adoption Request and required attachments for signature prepared and emailed to you to print and sign within just 1-2 business days.

Information about step parent adoption, step-parent adoption, steparent adoption

Sometimes referred to as step child adoption, step-child adoption, stepchild adoption.
Copyright 2016 by Stepparent Adoption Center (a division of Randall Hicks Inc, a California Corporation)

Please note: This website is intended to provide general information.
The information presented herein should not be considered as legal advice,
nor does it constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship.