DIFFICULTY: Legal assistance is required
Initial Filing Fee: $0 to $20
Complete a Petition for Adoption (Private Placement) Form 1C. This form provides basic information about you, the adopter; the prospective adoptee; and your attorney’s name. Your attorney will assist you in understanding the fine points of the proceeding, which may require you to file a New York and FBI background check, as well as a marriage record if one exists. Below is the link for the Petition for Adoption (Private Placement) Form 1C.
Step 1: Form Completion
Step 2: Filing of the Form in Surrogates Court or Family Court
File the Petition for Adoption either in Family Court or Surrogates Court, depending on your attorney’s recommendation. There is no filing fee in Family Court, but there is a filing fee of $20 in Surrogate’s Court. The Family Court and Surrogates Court have concurrent jurisdiction over adoption proceedings, and as a result either court will be able to provide adoptive parents with a legally binding adoption. Your attorney can assist you in determining which forum is most appropriate for your particular set of circumstances, based upon court backlogs and the facts of your case.
Step 3: Prepare For Home Study and Parental Training
Obtain information on the home study process and parental training. Nearly all adoptions in New York involve a home study, which includes a home visit from a social worker, and required parental training coursework. This aspect of the process is fairly significant and greatly affects how long the adoption process takes. Given that the overwhelming majority of adoptions in New York are done through an agency, adoptive parents are usually provided with additional, necessary paperwork from their respective agency. However, adoptive parents pursuing private placements will need to research these aspects of the adoption process themselves.
Step 4: Attend Court Hearing
Attend your hearing with copies of all necessary documentation, accompanied by your attorney and as much evidence as possible proving you are able to provide the child with a good home.