What are the different types of adoption in California?

Forms of Adoption in California

If you are considering adoption in California, then you may want to understand the different types of adoption and what they can mean for you and the adopted child.

Here are the four adoption types as identified by the Judicial Branch of California:

Stepparent/Domestic Partner

When the stepparent or domestic partner of one of the child’s parents wants to adopt the child, the couple must be legally married or registered as domestic partners. Because one birth parent still remains the child’s parent, this is the simplest and most common form of adoption available in California.

Independent Adoption

An independent adoption means that neither the Department of Social Services nor an adoption agency is involved in the case. There may be additional resources in the community that can assist individuals who are interested in an independent approach.

Agency Adoption

Contrary to an independent adoption, an agency adoption occurs when the California Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency is part of the adoption case. Some local agencies may be able to answer preliminary questions about the process.

International Adoption

When the child to be adopted was born in another country, an international adoption can help a child find a home with a loving family. This can be one of the most complicated forms of adoption in California.

Adoption Questions

The process of adopting a child can be complex and lengthy; therefore, we recommend a referral to an adoption lawyer. The lawyer can answer your questions about the different types of adoption, ensure you understand the court process, and help you evaluate a legal and expedient approach for you and your family.

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