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What are the requirements to adopt in California?

If you're considering pursuing adoption as a way to build your family, then you've made a wise choice. There are countless kids in California looking for a mom or dad to shower them with unconditional love and provide them with a forever home. The state has many requirements that you must meet to adopt, though.

Is there a minimum age I must be to adopt a child in California?

State law requires that the individual pursuing the adoption is a legal adult, 18 or older. They generally must be ten years or more older than the child unless they're a sibling, first cousin, stepparent, uncle or aunt to them. Exceptions may be made to the ten-year rule in those specific cases.

Are felons prohibited from adopting in California?

Any prospective parents are required to have a criminal background check before their request to adopt is approved. While certain convictions will automatically make it impossible for you to adopt, caseworkers will take into consideration the crime that you were convicted of, how long you were sentenced for and other aspects of your past when deciding whether to approve your adoption.

Can a single person adopt in California?

There's no law that requires an individual to be married in order to move forward with adoption in the state. Single people, including unmarried domestic partners, can adopt a child from within the U.S. in much the same way any married person, including a stepparent, could. Rules about whether single people can adopt children living abroad are set by legislators in each country and vary greatly.

Are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people able to adopt in California?

State law expressly prohibits discrimination against anyone with a protected status, including sexual orientation. Other states and countries that you may wish to adopt from may have potentially discriminatory policies in place regarding adoption, however.

While it may not matter if you're single, married, gay or straight if you're planning to adopt a child in California, there are factors such as age, criminal history, your job, living situation and financial means that may adversely impact your ability to move forward in this process. An attorney can help you.

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