Step-parent adoption is governed by state law. Most states make the adoption process a little easier for stepparents, but requirements for home studies, criminal background checks, and procedures for obtaining consent of the noncustodial parent vary widely by state.
In all stepparent adoptions, the child’s other birth or legal parent will need to consent to the adoption. If the other birth parent refuses to consent, the adoption will not be allowed unless that parent’s rights are terminated for some other reason — abandonment, unfitness, or failure to support the child, for example.
It may be difficult to get the consent of the other birth parent, because giving consent to the adoption means giving up all parental rights, including any right to visit the child or make decisions regarding issues such as medical treatment or education.
If the other birth parent refuses to give consent or is out of the picture and cannot be found, there are several ways to proceed with a stepparent adoption.
Once a legal adoption has occured, the adoptive parent will assume all the same parental responsibilities as if the child where bioligcally their own.
To start an adoption, the step-parent would be required to file a Petition for Adoption, which requires basic information about the identity and circumstances of the step-parent and the child to be adopted.
Learn More About Step-Parent Adoptions
The professionals at Kent Lee Law represent individuals throughout Glendale and the surrounding communities of Maricopa County, Peoria, Arrowhead, El Mirage Glendale, Avondale, Buckeye, Surprise, Sun City, Sun City Grand, & Sun City West.
If you need legal representation pertaining to a step-parent adoption case, Kent Lee Law can help. Please feel free to call (623) 889-7760.