Adoption & Stepparent Adoptions


Adoption is forever and a lifelong commitment for everyone involved. It is extremely important that adoption is pursued for the right reasons. Anyone who plans to adopt must be prepared to properly deal with the significant challenges and commitments that will be necessary. Before deciding to adopt, a person must be certain they are ready and able to give a child all the love and attention they need and deserve. In the end, adoption can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

More adoptions occur in California each year than any other state (followed closely by New York). There are several types of adoptions. The kind of adoption you might consult with an attorney are:

Domestic Adoptions:

The vast majority of adoptions occurring in California is the adoption of domestically born children, most from within California itself. All adoptions involve termination of the biological parent(s) rights and approving you as the adoptive parent. The different types of adoptions are:

Independent Adoption: An independent adoption is usually arranged by an attorney, with full openness in identities between the birth and adoptive parents. Eighty-five percent of all newborn adoptions in California are accomplished via independent adoption.

Agency Adoption: There are two types of agency adoption: private and public/county. Both are licensed to make child placements, but they tend to serve different children. Public/county agencies help find homes for children who are usually under governmental control, typically living in a foster home due to an inability to live in the home of their biological parents. These children tend to be older, and some may have needs requiring extraordinary parenting, but some newborns are also placed via public agencies. Private agencies focus primarily on newborn placements, like independent adoption, but many also serve waiting children.

Step-Parent Adoption: A parent who has remarried may sometimes wish for their new spouse to adopt a child or children from a previous marriage. If the other non-custodial parent will consent to the adoption, it will make it easer, but that consent has to be witnessed by a county social worker. If they will not consent, then the court will have to rule on the termination of their rights. Grounds for termination are abandonment (This may be able to be presumed if there has not been any contact by the other parent for a year or more), conviction of certain felonies and or failure to pay support for at least one year (which can also be rebutted with the right facts).

International Adoptions: 

International adoption (also referred to as intercountry adoption or transnational adoption) is a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parents of a child that is a national of a different country. In general, prospective adoptive parents must meet the legal adoption requirements of their country of residence and those of the country whose nationality the child holds. The laws of different countries vary in their willingness to allow international adoptions. Some countries, such as China and Korea, have relatively well-established rules and procedures for international adoptions,