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California law is instructive. The phrase 'second-parent adoption' refers to an independent adoption whereby a child born to [or legally adopted by] one partner is adopted by his or her non-biological or non-legal second parent, with the consent of the legal parent, and without changing the latter's rights and responsibilities.' (Doskow, The Second Parent Trap (1999) 20 J. Juv. L. 1, 5.) As a result of the adoption, the child has two legal parents who have equal legal status in terms of their relationship with the child. California's adoption statutes have always permitted adoption without regard to the marital status of prospective adoptive parents. 


Section 8600 provides that '[a]n unmarried minor may be adopted by an adult,' and an adult may adopt a child so long as he or she is 'at least 10 years older than the child' (§ 8601, subd. (a)). Section 8542 defines 'prospective adoptive parent' as 'a person who has filed or intends to file a petition ... to adopt a child who has been or who is to be placed in the person's physical care ... .' None of these statutes mentions marital status. See, e.g., Pizer, What About the Children? (Nov. ...

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