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Adoptions takes place in various forms, and are generally classified as independent, agency, step parent, relative placement, and adult adoption. Independent adoption occurs when birth parents and adoptive families find each other on their own or through the help of an adoption intermediary, i.e. a pastor, family friend, or doctor. Agency adoptions are handled through a child placement agency, and in California, are licensed by the State Department of Social Services; approximately twothirds of all adoptions in the United States are arranged through agencies. In a stepparent adoption, the family adopting is a birth parent with a new spouse; this usually succeeds a divorce or spousal death. Adult adoption is the process whereby a person eighteen years or older is legally adopted by one or more persons eighteen years or older, and relative placement adoption occurs when the birth parent(s) is still a minor, has died or is disabled, or the child has been removed due to abuse and neglect, and another relative assumes physical custody and responsibility for the child.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified adoption lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local adoption attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.