How Do I Adopt a Child?

For a family with no kids, or even a family with children, the idea of adding a child to their home is a decision made out of love. The decision to adopt a child is only the first step in what can turn into a very long and drawn out process. This article will answer a few of the more basic and common questions to consider when you are deciding to adopt.

Q. What is adoption?

Simply put, adoption is the legal process of establishing a parent-child relationship that is legally recognized. Once this relationship is established is permanent and is as exactly the same legal relationship as if the child had been born to the adoptive parents.

Q. What rights do I have as an adoptive parent?

Once the adoption process is complete, the adoptive parents have all the same legal rights and responsibilities of a traditional parent-child relationship. Once an adoption case is complete, the court ends all of the parental rights of the birth parents.

Q. What are the most common types of adoption?

Some of the most common types of adoption or most common adoption scenarios include:

  • Step-parent/Domestic partner adoption: The spouse or domestic partner of the child’s parent adopts that child.
  • Independent adoption: This is when no adoption agency or the Department of Social Services is part of the adoption case. Often this happens when a friend or family member allows someone they know to adopt their child.
  • Agency adoption: An agency adoption is when the California Department of Social Services or licensed adoption agency is part of the adoption case. Many times the department or the agency arrange for the birth parent(s) to select the adoptive parents.
  • International adoption: This is a case where the child to be adopted was born in another country.

Q. Are the steps the same for each type of adoption?

Although there are similarities, many of the intricacies of adoption can vary depending on the type of adoption you are trying to do. The adoption process typically requires court forms, filings with the court clerk, a court date, and various other steps.

Adopting a child can be one of the sweetest and most memorable times in the lives of both the parents and the children. Don’t let this beautiful time of life become overwhelming because of confusion or frustrating of the legal process of bringing a child into your life. An experienced family attorney such as David Knecht can help walk you through the adoption and make the process go smoothly. Please feel free to reach out to David Knecht at to discuss any further question or concerns you may have about adoption or any other family law matters.