In New York State, most adoption petitions are filed in the county where the adoptive parents live. Depending on the county, the Family Court or the Surrogate's Court decide adoption cases.

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.

You may not be allowed to adopt if you have a felony conviction.

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Last Reviewed: April 27, 2023