2005 California Family Code Sections 8623-8638 CHAPTER 1.5. ADOPTION FACILITATORSFAMILY.CODE
8623. A person or organization is an adoption facilitator if the person or organization is not licensed as an adoption agency by the State of California and engages in either the following activities: (a) Advertises for the purpose of soliciting parties to an adoption or locating children for an adoption or acting as an intermediary between the parties to an adoption. (b) Charges a fee or other valuable consideration for services rendered relating to an adoption. 8624. Any advertising by an adoption facilitator shall: (a) Identify the name of the party placing the advertisement and shall state that the party is an adoption facilitator. (b) Be subject to Section 17500 of the Business and Professions Code. (c) Provide, in any written advertisement, the disclosure required by subdivision (a) in print that is the same size and typeface as the name required pursuant to subdivision (a) or any telephone number specified in the advertisement, whichever is the larger print size. (d) Provide the disclosure required by subdivision (a) in the same color as the most prominent print in the advertisement where the advertisement contains more than one color. (e) Present the disclosure required by subdivision (a) in a readily understandable manner and at the same speed and volume, if applicable, as the rest of the advertisement if the advertisement is a television advertisement. 8625. An adoption facilitator shall not: (a) Mislead any person into believing, or imply by any document, including any form of advertising or by oral communications, that the adoption facilitator is a licensed adoption agency. (b) Represent to any person that he or she is able to provide services for which the facilitator is not properly licensed. 8626. An adoption facilitator shall disclose in the first oral communication in which there is a description of services, that the facilitator is not a licensed adoption agency. 8627. If the facilitator is acting on behalf of more than one party, all of the parties on whose behalf the facilitator is acting shall have signed a written agreement authorizing the facilitator to act on behalf of all of the parties. 8628. An adoption facilitator shall report in writing to the prospective adoptive parents all information that is provided to the facilitator by the birthparents concerning a particular child. 8629. For a period of 72 hours after signing a contract or after the payment of any fee, the birthparents or the prospective adoptive parents may revoke the contract and request the return of any fees paid, without penalty, except for any reasonable fees actually earned by the facilitator and which are supported by written records or documentation. 8630. The amount of fees paid to an adoption facilitator and any fees or expenses an adoption facilitator pays to a third party shall be reported to the court in the adoption accounting report as an adoption-related expense. 8631. All contracts entered into by an adoption facilitator shall be in writing and, at a minimum, shall include the following: (a) A statement that the adoption facilitator is not licensed by the State of California as an adoption agency. (b) A statement disclosing on whose behalf the facilitator is acting. (c) A statement that the information provided by any party is not confidential but that this waiver of confidentiality shall only apply to the parties to the facilitation contract and any disclosures required by Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 9200) of Part 2 of Division 13. (d) A statement that the adoption facilitator cannot provide any services for which the facilitator is not properly licensed, such as legal or therapeutic counseling. (e) A list of all the services that the adoption facilitator is required to provide under the contract. (f) Notice that for a period of 72 hours after signing the contract any party may revoke the contract, and if a fee has been paid by the prospective adoptive parents, they may, within that 72-hour period, request the return of the fees paid, except for any reasonable fee actually earned by the facilitator that is supported by written record or documentation. 8632. The adoption facilitator shall also explain the terms of the written contract verbally to the prospective adoptive parents and the birthparents. 8633. Any person or entity that violates this chapter is subject to a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or the amount of the contract fees, whichever is greater. 8634. Any contract entered into pursuant to this chapter is subject to the rules and remedies relating to contracts generally. 8635. In any action to revoke or enforce the contract, a prevailing party may recover reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. 8636. (a) Prior to engaging in the business of, or acting in the capacity of, an adoption facilitator, any person shall (1) obtain a business license in the appropriate jurisdiction, and (2) be bonded in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000). (b) The surety bond required by subdivision (a) shall be for the benefit of any person damaged by fraud, misstatement, misrepresentation, unlawful act or omission, or failure to provide the services of the adoption facilitator, or the agents, representatives, or employees of the adoption facilitator, while acting within the scope of that employment or agency. 8637. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, an attorney who provides services specified in Section 8623 related to facilitating an adoption shall be subject only to those provisions of law regulating the practice of law. 8638. Any person aggrieved by any violation of this chapter may bring a civil action for damages, for rescission, or for any other civil or equitable remedy.
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