Adoption in New York

By NYSBA Lawyer Referral Service

December 19, 2022

Adoption in New York


By NYSBA Lawyer Referral Service


Read this guide for information about adoption in New York State

What is adoption?

Adoption is a legal proceeding where one person (or persons) takes another into the relationship of parent and child and acquires the rights and incurs the responsibilities of a parent to the adopted person.

What are the different types of adoption?

  1. Agency Adoption. Where the placement of a child is made through an agency licensed by the State of New York, which is authorized by law to place children for the purpose of adoption.
  2. Private-Placement Adoption (sometimes referred to as independent adoption). Any domestic adoption, other than an agency placement, is a private placement adoption.
  3. Stepparent Adoption. An adoption in which one spouse, in a remarriage, or a partner, if unmarried, adopts the child of the other. This is sometimes also called a co-parent adoption.
  4. International Adoption. The adoption by New York residents of children born and living in a foreign country.

Who must consent to the adoption?

Unless the consent of a necessary party is excused by the Court, consent of the following is required to adopt a minor:

  1. The adoptive child, if over the age of 14;
  2. Both parents, or the surviving parent (even if the parent is a minor) of a child conceived or born in wedlock;
  3. The mother, whether adult or minor, of a child born out of wedlock;
  4. The biological father of a child born out of wedlock where certain legal criteria have been met, regarding his relationship to the child and/or the biological mother;
  5. Any person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the adoptive child.

What is the legal effect of adoption?

When the judge signs the Order of Adoption, the relation of parent and child becomes final. At that point, all the rights, duties and other legal obligations of parent and child are established. A new birth certificate will be issued showing the adopting persons as the parents of the child. The original birth certificate will be sealed.

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