Guide to adoptions in California
This guide has general information about the different ways to adopt someone in California. For some types of adoption, there are step-by-step instructions on how to complete the adoption process.
In an adoption, the court establishes a legal parent-child relationship between a child and a parent who is not the child's biological or birth parent
Once the adoption is final, adoptive parents have all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. That new parent-child relationship is permanent and is exactly the same as that of a birth family.
An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood.
If the child is 12 years old or older, the child will also have to agree to the adoption.
Adoptions filed in California are confidential
Adoption files are confidential. They are available to the adult adoptee, adoptive parents, and their attorneys. You may file a petition with the court clerk to ask the court for permission to obtain copies from the adoption file. Contact the court where the adoption was granted. Find your court and their contact information.