Adopting a child is one of the most exhilarating moments you can ever experience. The wonderful feeling is magnified when you adopt a stepchild because the adoption is formalizing a relationship that already exists. By officially adopting your stepchild, you become the legal guardian of your spouse’s child thereby removing all logistical questions as to who is the child’s true parent.
Stepparent Adoption Process
Stepparent adoption is certainly not mandatory, but, often times, highly recommended for an involved stepparent. This form of adoption is typically easier to complete than the standard adoptive process. The reason for this is because the stepparent adoption can often be streamlined thanks to the permanence of the home, the other family members involved, and the applicable laws.
Typically, adoptions require a long list of formalities, including a waiting period, home study and multiple court appearances. However, many of these requirements are not necessary for a stepparent adoption. This allows for a stepparent adoption to be less expensive and completed on an accelerated basis.
The Importance of an Adoption Attorney
However, this isn’t to say that a stepparent adoption doesn’t come with its own struggles, both financially, legally and emotionally. When multiple parents are involved there may be resistance, and children will often experience emotional stress even under the most loving of circumstances.
This is why it is essential that an experienced adoption attorney become involved in the process. Utilizing a skilled adoption attorney will provide you with insight, support and legal advice during the entire adoption process. Most importantly, an experienced adoption attorney will be able to fast-track the case through the court if all of the paperwork is in order.
Quick Facts about Stepparent Adoption
The stepparent adoption process is typically used when one parent is absent or has lost parental rights. It may also be completed when one parent wishes to remove parental rights from the child’s second parent. This is common when the child has little or no connection with the second parent.
There are several issues that can pose problems during even a standard stepparent adoption, which is where an adoption attorney is most beneficial. These issues include:
- Terminating the rights of a non-consenting parent
- Proving the absent parent has abandoned the child
- Proving that the presumed father is not, legally speaking, the father
- Complying with all statutory requirements to complete the adoption
Having an adoption attorney to guide you through this can make the entire process easier.