Are There Different Types Of Adoption in California?

Adoptions takes place in various forms, and are generally classified as independent, agency, step parent, relative placement, and adult adoption.  Independent adoption occurs when birth parents and adoptive families find each other on their own or through the help of an adoption intermediary, i.e. a pastor, family friend, or doctor.  Agency adoptions are handled through a child placement agency, and in California, are licensed by the State Department of Social Services; approximately two­thirds of all adoptions in the United States are arranged through agencies.  In a step­parent adoption, the family adopting is a birth parent with a new spouse; this usually succeeds a divorce or spousal death.  Adult adoption is the process whereby a person eighteen years or older is legally adopted by one or more persons eighteen years or older, and relative placement adoption occurs when the birth parent(s) is still a minor, has died or is disabled, or the child has been removed due to abuse and neglect, and another relative assumes physical custody and responsibility for the child.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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