Assembly Bill (AB) 120 (Chapter 43, Statutes of 2023) repealed the provisions relating to adoption facilitators and expressly stated that an adoption facilitator that continues to operate on or after January 1, 2024, in California shall be deemed an unlicensed adoption agency.
Family Code Section 8609(a) prohibits any California-based adopted-related advertising except by licensed California adoption agencies.
Family Code Section 8609(b) and (c) prohibit the provision of any adoption services (including but not limited to advertising, matching, introducing, consulting. etc.) to California residents except by licensed California adoption agencies.
Family Code Section 8623 Notwithstanding any other law, all adoption facilitators registered with the department on its statewide registry as of July 1, 2023, shall cease operation in this state on or before December 31, 2023. An adoption facilitator that continues to operate on or after January 1, 2024, shall be deemed an unlicensed adoption agency as referenced in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 1503.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
Family Code Section 8624(a) A person aggrieved by a violation of Section 8609 may bring a civil action for damages, rescission, injunctive relief, or any other civil or equitable remedy. Operation of an unlicensed adoption agency, as referenced in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 1503.5 of the Health and Safety Code, shall be an act of unfair competition and an unfair business practice within the meaning of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code.
(b) If the court finds that a person has violated Section 8609, it shall award actual damages plus an amount equal to treble the amount of the actual damages or two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation, whichever is greater.
(c) In a civil action under this section, a prevailing party may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
(d) The Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive relief, restitution, or other equitable relief against an unlicensed adoption agency as referenced in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 1503.5 of the Health and Safety Code pursuant to this section in the name of the people of the State of California.
(e) Any other interested person who, based upon information or belief, claims a violation of Section 8609 has been committed may bring a civil action for injunctive relief on behalf of the general public. This section authorizes a referral by the department to the appropriate law enforcement entities consistent with these provisions.
What does this mean?
Adoption Facilitators are Prohibited from the following:
- Posting in any advertisement, specific information about particular minor children who are available for adoptive placement.
- Assuming care and control of a child, even momentarily, during the transfer of the child’s custody from the birth parent to the prospective adoptive parent(s).
- Using a photo listing to advertise minor children available for adoptive placement.
- Misleading any person into believing or implying by any document, including any form of advertising or by oral communications, that the Adoption Facilitator is a licensed adoption agency.
Categorized in: Legal Procedure
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