Filing the Adoption Case
To adopt a child, there are certain forms you must fill out and file with the court. You can find instructions and all the forms you need to file an adoption case in this section.
Before filing anything, make sure you understand the basics of adoption by visiting the Overview of Adoption page.
The information here applies to private adoptions between family members only.
These forms should only be used if ALL of the following are true:
- The child to be adopted is related to you by blood or marriage (within 3 levels, usually stepparents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunts/uncles); AND
- If two people are adopting, those two people are married or registered domestic partners; AND
- The child to be adopted is not an American Indian; AND
- If the child is age 14 or older, the child will consent to the adoption; AND
- The parent to be "replaced" through the adoption will either sign a written consent or their parental rights have already been terminated by a court. If you need to have the parent's rights involuntarily terminated, you can learn about that process by clicking here.
If the above conditions are not met, you may need the assistance of a private adoption company and/or a private attorney. Do not use the forms on this page.
Step 1. Complete the Papers
To file for an adoption, you will need to file the forms below.
Family Court Cover Sheet
This form is REQUIRED. This form asks for basic information about you and the children. You are the Petitioner. If you have any other cases at family court that include the children (for example, divorce, custody, child support cases, TPOs, etc.), be sure to fill out the second page with as much information about those cases as you can. The Clerk of Court uses this information to open your case and to make sure all of your cases are assigned to the same judge.
Petition for Adoption
This form is REQUIRED. This form tells the judge about the child to be adopted and the parents wishing to adopt. You can request a name change for the child if desired.
If a stepparent is adopting, the parent and the stepparent must both fill out the papers and sign them as co-petitioners.
If two people are petitioning to adopt, the petitioners must be married or registered domestic partners.
Consents (if applicable)
You may need consent forms depending on if the parent to be "replaced" will agree to the adoption and if the child to be adopted is an older child.
Parental Consent. This form is for the parent who will be giving up their rights. If the noncustodial parent you are "replacing" will agree to terminate their own rights and will agree to the adoption, that parent can sign this form to put their consent in writing. The form must be signed and notarized by the parent and 2 neutral witnesses. If the parent will not sign this form, you may need to file a separate case to terminate their rights first.
Child's Consent. If the child to be adopted is age 14 or older, the child will have to sign a written consent to the adoption. The child should fill out the following form in front of two neutral witnesses. The witnesses' signatures must be notarized.
Ex Parte Application and Order to Waive Child Welfare Investigation & Affidavit of Fees
This form is REQUIRED. Usually, a home study is required before a family can adopt a child. The adoptive family also usually has to file an affidavit listing all of the fees paid toward the adoption.
If the adoptive parents are already related to the child (such as stepparents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.), the court can waive these requirements. These forms ask the court to waive both requirements based on your relationship to the child. Fill out BOTH forms below:
This form is REQUIRED. This form sets a court date for you and the children to appear in court. The Clerk of Court will fill in a hearing date when you file this form.
Step 2. File the Papers
File the papers at the family court to open your case. The court charges $238 to file the papers. You can pay by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of three ways:
In Person: Bring your filing fee and the forms to the Family Courts and Services Center. You will be able to file your papers in person at the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, but you must arrive by 3:40 p.m. to see a Clerk before closing. Be sure to arrive before then.
By Mail: If you cannot come to the court during business hours, you can mail your forms and the filing fee to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Online: Many documents can be filed online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV (although some documents must be filed in person). There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents.
If you efile your documents, you will be agreeing to be served with future legal documents electronically. Be sure to use an email address that you will check regularly so that you do not miss important legal documents filed in your case. If your email addresses changes, you must update that information in your efile account. If you would rather receive future legal documents through the U.S. Mail, file your documents in person or by mail.
Next Step: Provide Documents to the Judge and DFS
You will need to provide copies of some of your documents to the judge and also to the county's adoption agency. Find out how to do this on the next page.