Adoption Facts: Understanding Stepparent Adoption

by | Dec 10, 2012 | Firm News |

Are you ready to take the final step to fully embrace your stepchild(ren), but unsure how to complete the legal process? Legally adopting your stepchild(ren) is an important element of establishing your family that can be overwhelming due to the complex legal issues involved. The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Miller & Associates will help you through this potentially stressful process and allow you to keep the focus on the joys of life as a family.

Adopting your stepchild(ren) permanently transfers all parental rights and responsibilities to you from the other biological parent,

while allowing your spouse to preserve his/her parental rights. There are numerous factors involved to allow a successful stepparent adoption including the following:

  1. Consent of the biological parent. The parent whose parental rights are to be terminated must voluntarily consent. However, there are other options available if the biological parent will not consent. Please note that no consent is required if the biological parent is deceased.
  2. Grounds to terminate the parent-child relationship without consent Absent consent, parental rights may be terminated if the parent has abandoned or failed to provide for the financial or emotional needs of the child. Termination may also be granted where the biological parent does not respond to notice of the adoption proceedings and the court determines that the stepparent adoption is in the best interest of the child.
  3. Marital status of the adopting parent You must be legally married to or in a registered domestic partnership with the child’s legal parent.

This is not a complete list of requirements for stepparent adoption and each case requires careful consideration of the facts. Please contact us to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys to customize a plan that suits your family’s needs