Starting a family is a dream and goal for many people across the country. For some, this means having their own biological children, while others may choose to adopt. Unfortunately, for years, adoption was reserved only for married, heterosexual couples, but now, those rights have been extended to LGBTQ+ people as well. However, there are still some issues you should be aware of if you’d like to adopt a child, and it can be helpful and wise to work with a family law attorney during this time.  

If you’d like more information about LGBTQ+ adoptions, reach out to us at The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer. We’re able to help those in and around the San Jose and Morgan Hill, California, areas including Fremont, Hayworth, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, and Pleasanton. 

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LGBTQ+ Adoptions in California  

The laws for adoption will vary from state to state, but California has some of the most inclusive laws in the country. There is no requirement that you have to be partnered or married to adopt, and this applies to an LGBTQ+ individual as well. The state will only look at whether you’re a suitable candidate, meaning you’ll be able to provide the child with a safe, loving, and supportive home.  

So, you can adopt as an LGBTQ+ individual or couple, but there are still some requirements you must meet. First, you must be at least 10 years older than the adoptive child. Second, if you are married, you have to have been so for at least two years.  

Additionally, there are many instances where you may wish to adopt your partner’s biological child. Adoption of a partner’s child is permitted for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. 

The Process of Adoption  

In general, the process of adopting a child in California won’t change if you’re seeking an LGBTQ+ adoption. Basically, there are two paths you can follow.  

The first is known as “independent adoption,” and this is where you will be matched with a birth mother who consents to have their child adopted by you after the birth. With this option, you will almost always want to work with an adoption attorney to ensure all the legal aspects are handled correctly. Your attorney can also help you connect with potential birth mothers and facilitate any discussions or negotiations. 

Another process of adoption is known as “foster to adopt.” In this case, you would first be placed with a child who’s in the foster care system. If, after you’ve fostered the child for a set period of time, there is no option to have them reunited with their biological family, you would have the option to begin adoption proceedings. 

Whichever path you choose, you’ll likely have to work with both state and private adoption agencies to ensure you would be a fit parent. This includes a vigorous vetting process, a home study, and various post-adoption appointments to ensure the child is adjusting to their new environment. 

What to Expect at the Home Study  

Nearly all adoptive parents will have to undergo a home study before placement. During your home study, you’ll be educated on the adoption process and evaluated on your potential to be a good parent. The evaluator will conduct an interview with you and gather information that can help match you with a child and will be used to perform a background check. Importantly, this process often involves multiple home visits to ensure a safe environment.  

LGBTQ+ Adoption Attorneys in San Jose, California

If you’re searching for an LGBTQ+ adoption attorney, call us today at The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer. We have office locations in San Jose and Morgan Hill, California, to better serve our clients. Call us today so we can gain an understanding of your goals for your family and work together to achieve them.