A guide to the adoption process detailing the different types of adoptions, requirements, and what forms you will need.
Adoption to Confirm Parentage
This is a simplified adoption for married parents whose children were conceived through assisted reproduction or born through a gestational surrogacy process. Generally there will be no investigation or court hearing.
Department of Social Services Adoption Resource List
Submitting Adoption Paperwork
Adoption is a legal arrangement by which the adoptive parents become legally responsible for the child they adopt and obtain all legal parental rights with regard to the child.
At the adoption hearing, the parent(s) and child(ren) (if over the age of 12) formally consent to become lawful members of the same family. The hearing is the final stage in granting a permanent home to a child. Adoption proceedings are informal; family and friends may move about the courtroom to view the proceedings and photographs may be taken.
At the completion of the legal proceeding, a new birth certificate is issued for the child.
For more information about adoptions, please refer to the following on the Judicial Council website:
Types of Adoptions
There are several types of adoptions of children under 18 years of age in California:
The adoption of a child, other than an international adoption, in which the California Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency is a party to, or joins in, the adoption petition.
The birth parents select the adoptive parents and place the child directly with them. Custody is transferred directly between the parents, rather than through an agency.
A child born outside of the United States is adopted by adults living in the United States. The adoption procedure is conducted by a private agency.
A stepparent petitions the court for adoption of the child of her or her spouse. A domestic partner desiring to adopt a child of his or her domestic partner may also file for adoption under this procedure.
Adoption of Adults and Married Minors:
An adult may be adopted by another adult, including a stepparent, and a married minor may be adopted in the same manner as an adult.
|Agency||Independent||International||Stepparent||Adults and Married Minors|
|Adoption of Indian Child
|Petition for Adoption of Adult or Married Minor
|Order of Adoption of Adult or Married Minor
|Petitioner's Adoption Agreement
|Consent to Adoption (Adult)