The Family Court of the State of New York has the authority to decide cases affecting the lives of children and families. The court has a wide range of powers to fit the needs of the people who come before it.
The Family Court Act gives the Family Court power to hear certain types of cases. Each case filed is given its own identifying number, called a “docket number.”
The docket number begins with a letter that identifies the type of case filed:
Single-parent adoptions. Single persons may adopt children, although some agencies strongly prefer to place a child with a married couple. Other agencies particularly those dealing with children who might be hard to place are willing to place a child with a single person. Single-parent adoptions usually are possible in private adoptions.
As with adoptions sought by a couple, a single person who seeks to adopt a child must be approved by a social service investigator and show that appropriate arrangements have been made for care of the child.
Adoption by lesbian or gay couples. Some states-including New York and California-allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt a child. Other states do not allow such adoptions, and many states have laws that are unclear regarding whether it is permissible for two persons of the same sex to adopt a child.