Adoptions generally fall under two categories: direct placements and agency placements. When the biological parent(s) finds the adoptive parent(s) on their own without help from an adoption agency or other licensed intermediary, the adoption is called a direct placement. When the biological parent(s) find the adoptive parents, or the adoptive parent(s) find the child, through an agency or other official state intermediary, the adoption is called an agency placement.
Specific information is required in an adoption petition. Whenever a petition for adoption of a minor is filed, a pre-placement assessment must be made to the court which determines whether or not the petitioner is an appropriate person and has an appropriate home for the adoptive minor child. These assessments are prepared by the respective county’s Department of Social Services.
Special rules apply to step-parent adoptions. Generally, the child needs to have resided with the step-parent and parent for at least six months preceding the filing of the petition.