What is Second-Parent Adoption? Do I need a home study?

Learn more about second-parent adoption and its home study process.

Second-Parent Adoption

Second-parent adoption (also called “co-parent" or "step" adoption) is the legal process of adopting a partner’s biological or legal child, when a person is not biologically or legally related to the child. It has been a common practice since the 1990s as a way to secure parentage for step-parents, LGBTQ+ parents, or those growing their family via surrogacy. This may be the case if the parents used donated sperm or eggs to create their family, or if one partner had children prior to the relationship, either through adoption or biological means. Co-parent adoption can be used to establish a legal relationship in any of these cases.

The Step/Second-Parent Adoption Home Study

This home study is designed for step or second parents and is requested by an attorney or ordered by the court. Like the Private Domestic PairTree Home Study, families can expect states to require background checks, medical information, employment/income verification, and a home visit with a home study professional.

The primary difference is this type of home study highlights the step-parent or second parent as well as the soon-to-be adopted child and gives the family a chance to prove to the courts that the family is thriving.  The home study must meet the state’s requirements and the home study professional must be sensitive to the family’s history and needs, to ensure that a proper report is provided to the court.

lets talkGet Home Study Approved

We collaborate with licensed adoption professionals nationwide to connect adopting families with the resources needed to plan and manage an adoption journey in the healthiest way possible.

To get started, find a home study provider in your state or schedule time with our Adoption Specialist Laurie here to talk through your options.