California Adoption Guidance for Parents and Step-Parents

Couple spending time with child

Have you gained more than a new spouse with your recent marriage? You may already be a parental figure to your significant other’s children, so how do you make it official?

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to adopt a child—even if you haven’t met them before—and are ready to take the first step to make it happen.

No matter which scenario applies to you, there are avenues in the state of California for adoption. At the Law Office of Michael C. MacNeil, we can show you how to adopt a child in California quickly and efficiently.


If you are a step-parent, you significantly influence your stepchild’s life. But without an adoption, you lack the rights that legal parents have, as well as the legal power to make decisions regarding the child. With California adoptions, the state confers all parenthood obligations and rights to you.

In the same way, if you decide to adopt a child you’ve never met, you’ll have the power to make decisions on the child’s behalf, to their benefit. By giving the child a permanent home that is loving and safe, legal adoption creates a structured dynamic between the child and the adoptive parent.


You must meet multiple general requirements to adopt a child in San Diego and throughout California:

  • You must be 10+ years older than the individual you wish to adopt
  • You must complete and pass a criminal background check
  • You must undergo a home study to ensure the suitability of your living space

For step-parent adoption, eligibility in California is contingent upon you being married or registered as a domestic partner to the child’s birth parent. At the Law Office of Michael C. MacNeil, we can provide the legal advice, assistance, and representation necessary to navigate this process.

We can ensure you fulfill the California adoption requirements for parents or step-parents so you can move forward with adopting your new child in San Diego. Call today for a consultation to learn more about how we can help make your legal status reflect your emotional connection to your child.