Before a person can adopt, he/she must ensure that a court has issued an order terminating the parental rights of the natural parent, either voluntarily or involuntarily. If the rights have been terminated, then some of the requirements that apply to the person adopting are as follows, with exceptions:
- The person adopting the child must be at least 10 years older than the person being adopted.
- If the child being adopted is over the age of 14, then the child’s consent is required.
- If the person adopting is married, then the consent of his/her spouse is required.
- If the child being adopted Is not related to the adopting party within three degrees of consanguinity, then child welfare services must conduct a home study.
The requirements can vary depending on whether the person adopting is a stepparent, registered domestic partner, relative, or non-relative.