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What types of adoptions are there in California?

Adopting a child can be a beautiful way for Californians to grow their family and provide a child with the love and support he or she needs to grow and thrive. However, did you know that there are a variety of types of adoptions that California residents may choose from if they wish to adopt a child?

First of all, let's consider situations in which a domestic partner or a stepparent wishes to adopt his or her partner's child. This is the most prevalent type of adoption in the state. In such situations, the parents need to either be registered with the state as domestic partners or they have to be lawfully married. In this type of adoption, one of the child's biological parents retains parental rights while the other biological parent has his or her parental rights terminated. Then the stepparent or domestic partner becomes the child's legal parent.

Another type of adoption is an independent adoption. In this type of adoption, the child's biological parents may still retain their parental rights if agreed upon by the child's adopting parents. An adoption agency is not utilized in an independent adoption, nor is the California Department of Social Services.

A third type of adoption is an agency adoption. In an agency adoption either a licensed adoption agency or the California Department of Social Services plays a role in the adopting of the child.

Finally, there are international adoptions in which the child comes from a different nation. In these types of adoptions the parental rights of the child's biological parents may be terminated.

Many people in California have a lot of love to give to a child, and wish to do so through adoption. After all, sometimes individuals cannot biologically have children on their own, or they may have a variety of other personal reasons for choosing adoption. In any case, those who are considering adopting a child have a lot of important decisions to make. Discussing the matter with a family law attorney may be the first step to take if you want to learn more about adopting a child in California.

Source:, "Adoption," accessed Jan. 24, 2016

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