How to Write a Petition to Adopt a Child

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When couples adopt, there is paperwork and patience required throughout the process. One piece of the process is the petition to adopt a child. The wording in this petition is essential, as it is a legal document depicting the desire of a couple to adopt a child. The petition binds the signers, who are the adoptive parents, by the words of the document. Therefore, the document needs to be written and read carefully by all participants.

Contact a lawyer well-versed in adoption law. When writing a petition for adoption, every word needs to be exact. It is best to ask your personal lawyer to review the document before signing it. This avoids any contractual obligations with which you might disagree.

Write a draft of the letter, including all necessary elements. These elements include the state of the relationship of all adults in the household (such as married or in a civil union), last and first name of child, any medical conditions which might inhibit the care of a child, and state of income (like steady, seasonal or part-time). Also state your intention to take the child into your home, and note that you wish to keep the birth date and birthplace from any existing birth certificates intact but change the child's last name, if you desire to do so.

Provide your lawyer with the letter. The attorney will suggest changes to create a legal document and may offer to rewrite your letter or provide you with letter samples to follow.

Sign the letter with your full name. Ask your partner to do the same, then submit the letter to your lawyer. The attorney will get the letter notarized by an official notary and submit it to your chosen adoption agency.


  • If you do not feel confident with language, ask your lawyer to draft the letter for you. The adoption petition needs to be worded precisely. Also, read everything thoroughly before signing it to make sure you agree with all adoption terms.


About the Author

Rebecca Mayglothling has worked directly with toddlers and preschoolers for more than three years. She has published numerous lesson plans online as well as parenting and teaching advice. She continues to keep ahead of parenting methods and is eager to share them through her professional writing.

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