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Same-Sex Adoption in California

Are you considering adoption?

In the State of California, gay and lesbian couples and individuals are legally allowed to adopt children via a variety of methods; however, special regulations may apply to specific types of adoption. A large number of lesbian couples who decide they want children opt to have one partner give birth to a child and the other partner becomes a legal parent via stepparent or second parent adoption.

Gay couples can utilize the same method using a surrogate to carry a child born from one of the partner's sperm and a donor egg. California does allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt a child, so both spouses can be considered a legal parent from the beginning of the process. Lesbian and gay individuals and couples can also choose to adopt children using agencies, independent adoptions, and international adoptions.

Rights and Responsibilities as a Legal Parent

When you become a legal parent, you have the right to live with a child—whether it is full or part-time—and make decisions regarding the child's health, education, and overall wellbeing. You are also financially responsible for said child. If you and your spouse jointly adopt a child, you are both considered legal parents and are responsible for your child's health, education, and wellbeing, even if you and your spouse separate in the future.

If your spouse already has a child through a previous relationship and you wish to adopt said child, you can petition to adopt them. Registered domestic partners can use California's stepparent adoption laws to adopt each other's children or children of their relationship. At Diefer Law Group, PC, our Riverside family lawyer can help you (and your spouse, if applicable) adopt a child or assist with the stepparent adoption process. Please call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.