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General Information

Adoption Definitions

Copies of Documents

Requests for Documentation

Adoption Packet Cover Sheet


Stepparent Adoption Procedures

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General Information

Due to the strict laws regarding the confidentiality of records, no information will be given over the telephone regarding any adoption file, since proper identification cannot be established. Investigations for Independent Adoptions are conducted by the California Department of Social Services. Please click on the following link in order to obtain their current fees for investigation and/or other helpful information regarding Independent Adoptions.

Adoption Definitions:

Adoptive Parent(s):  means a person who has obtained an order of adoption of a minor child or, in the case of an adult adoption, an adult.

Agency Adoption:  means the adoption of a minor, other than an intercountry adoption, in which the California Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency is a party to, or joins in, the adoption petition.

Birth Parent:  means the biological parent, or in the case of a previously adopted parent, the adoptive parent.

Independent Adoption:  means the adoption of a child within the California Department of Social Services is neither a party to or joins in the adoption petition.

Intercountry Adoption:  means the adoption of a foreign-born child for whom federal law makes a special immigration visa available.  Intercountry adoption includes completion of the adoption in the child’s native country or completion of the adoption in the state or residency of the petitioner(s)/adopting parent(s).

Stepparent Adoption:  means the adoption of a child by a stepparent where one birth parent retains custody and control of the child.

Adoption of Adults and Married Minors:  means an adult may be adopted by another adult, including a stepparent and a married minor may be adopted in the same manner as an adult.  (PLEASE NOTE:  There are no Judicial Council Forms available for these types of adoptions).

Copies of Documents

As adoption files are confidential, individuals who have been adopted are not permitted to see their adoption records without an order of the court.  Further, if the court grants an adopted person the right to inspect or have copies of their adoption record, court staff are not permitted to provide documents for inspection or copying to any person other than the adoptive parent(s) and their attorney of record, unless the name of the child’s birth parents or any other information tending to identify the child’s birth parents is deleted from the documents or copies.

If you are the adopting parent(s) or attorney of record for the adopting parent(s), you must come to the Hanford Division of the Superior Court, located at 1426 South Drive, to obtain any information from the file.  The clerk’s office is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Thursday and on Friday 8:00am - 11:30am, excluding court holidays, Please note that a photo identification will be required prior to viewing the file.

Copying, Research and Certification fees are as follows:



Photocopy for single sided page


Photocopy for double sided page


Certified Copy of any filed document


Adoption Case Index Research (for case number)


Requests for documentation:

  • A written request for documents can only be honored if the signature of the adopting parent or parents is notarized.  Please direct your request to 1426 South Drive, Hanford, CA 93230.
  • Please include the following for your request for documents:

1.   A self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of your documents;

2.  The full names of the parties to the case, including first, middle, and last name[s];

3.  The approximate year of the filing and case number (if known);

4.  Your name, address, and phone number to ensure return of documents and to provide contact information should a court staff member encounter any questions regarding your request.


  • Checks must be made payable to “Superior Court of California, County of Kings.”  The amount of the check should not be filled in unless you know the exact amount due.  We request you estimate charges and write on the memo line of your check, “amount not to exceed” your estimate.  A receipt will be returned, if you request.  If the amount submitted is not sufficient to cover the costs, the Court will contact you by phone or mail to indicate the correct amount.


For all adoptions [with the exception of adult adoptions], the use of specific Judicial Council of California forms is mandatory. For adult adoptions, please go to the Kings County Law Library for appropriate reference materials.

Stepparent Adoption Procedures:

1.      Consent of the other person who will continue to be the child’s parent.

2.      Consent or proof of death of the parent you will replace; or a petition to terminate that person’s parental rights.

3.      Proof of service of the petition and notice to the parent that you will replace if that person has not consented to the adoption.

  • A filing fee is required at the time of the filing of the petition for adoption.  Check our fees page for further information.  Additionally, there is a $300.00 investigation fee that is required to be paid in full prior to the commencement of the investigation.

  • Setting an Adoption Hearing
    for a Stepparent Adoption:

1.      After filing the Petition for Adoption, the Clerk’s Office will notify the Court Investigators.  However, the following documents must be submitted to the Clerk’s Office in order for the Court Investigator to contact you to schedule an investigation:

(a.) Adoption Questionnaire (Stepparent or Domestic Partnership cases) EACH PETITIONER shall complete a questionnaire.

(b.) Six [6] Witness Questionnaires (Stepparent or Domestic Partnership cases) The questionnaire shall be completed by six individuals who will vouch for your qualification as a suitable candidate for the adoption of the minor child or children.

(c.) Birth certificate of each minor being adopted (A certified copy is required)

(d.) Record of termination of any previous marriages of either parent. (A copy is sufficient)

(e.) Release of minor from parental control (as applicable)

  • Natural parent's consent (per Family Code 9003) or

  • Petition to Free Minor from Custody and Control (per Family Code 7660 et sec) or

  • Death Certificate of natural parent (if applicable) (A copy is sufficient)

(f.) Record of Petitioner's marriage or registration of domestic partnership to the natural parent (A copy is sufficient)

(g.) Investigative Fee of $300.00

2.      Once the above named documents are completed and received by the Clerk’s Office, and the fee has been paid, the clerk will forward the documents to the Court Investigator.  The Court Investigator will then contact the petitioner to schedule a date for an investigation. 

3.      Once the petitioner receives a copy of the Adoption Report from the Court Investigator, the petitioner is to contact the Court’s Calendar Clerk at (559) 582.1010 x 3082 to schedule a hearing date.


Superior Court of California, Kings County
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