What You Need To Know About Adoptions

In New York State, most adoption petitions are filed in the county where the adoptive parents live. A Family Court Judge may decide whether or not to approve an adoption.  The Judge must approve all adoptions and finalize the adoption by signing an Order of Adoption.

The vast majority of adoptions are of children under the age of 18.

Adoptions in New York occur either through an agency or a private placement.  Agency adoptions occur when a child is already in the care of the State through a foster care agency or a private foster care agency.  An agency can file a petition to end a biological parents rights through a special court proceeding known as a termination of parental rights.  A parent may also surrender their parental rights.  In either case the child will be freed for adoption. 



In the case of a private agency adoptions, the biological parents have voluntarily given up their parental rights and have placed the child with the agency for adoption. The adoption agency will place the child with prospective adoptive parents.  The agency is required to investigate the prospective adoptive parents. A background check is conducted on their home and any family member over the age of 18 living in the household.  Once the agency has determined that the home and placement is in fact suitable for the children, the prospective adoptive parents may be certified. 

Who Can Adopt?

In New York State, almost anyone can become an adoptive parent. An adoptive parent must be 18 years old or older and can also be:

  • an unmarried person,

  • a married couple,

  • two unmarried intimate partners,

  • a married person who is legally separated from his or her spouse, or

  • a married person who has been living apart from his or her spouse for at least 3 years before the adoption case is filed.


There may also be certain reasons preventing you from being able to adopt. Here are some of the reason that may prevent you or your family from adopting:

  • an arrest or felony criminal conviction

  • a history of child abuse or neglect

Contact a Bronx Adoption Attorney

Contact the Law Office of Martin Mohr, if you have questions about adoptions and your options under New York and Federal Statutes. To speak with a lawyer from our firm and discuss your particular circumstances contact us or call the office at (718) 293-1542 to set up an appointment.