Featured Image Caption: Father and Son Sitting on Stone Steps
Step-parent adoption is often a long and confusing process. The legal process can be tough to navigate, especially when trying to go through it alone. Ultimately, it is well worth it to feel like a united family. One of the most important things people need to adapt to their spouse’s child or children is patience. Here is an overview of the steps involved in a step-parent adoption.
Contact an Attorney
To adopt a stepchild, you must go through the legal process of step-parent adoption. It is a long and expensive process that requires the consent of both parents. The first step in this process is to contact an adoption, competent attorney. Family law professionals like Grall Law Group can help you navigate the complicated legal system and ensure that all the necessary paperwork gets filed correctly. They will also answer any questions you have about the process.
Hire a Licensed Adoption Agency
The legal process of step-parent adoption is a complicated and often expensive endeavor. It’s essential to know the basics before you start down this path. The first thing to do is contact a licensed adoption agency near you, who will walk you through the process and help with paperwork.
The next steps are as follows:
- You’ll need to fill out an application form and provide personal information about yourself and your home environment, including medical records for both parents and any children living in the home.
- A social worker will visit your house to evaluate all adults living there, as well as children old enough to talk on their own.
- Once this assessment is complete, if everything checks out, then it’s time to go before a judge and petition for adoption.
It’s important to note that not all states require this final step but doing so makes the process easier if you later decide to terminate your partner’s parental rights. Some people choose to hire an attorney specializing in adoption cases, especially since this is a complicated process with many crucial steps.
Terminate Parental Rights
The legal process of step-parent adoption is not easy, to terminate the birth parent’s parental rights and petition for your adoptive parents as your new legal guardians. You first need to find a lawyer who specializes in family law and adoption cases that will represent your pro-bono or on a contingency basis. You will then need to file an affidavit with the court, which includes all relevant information, such as:
- Your name, address, social security number, race/ethnicity, sex, date of birth -Name(s) and age(s) of children involved.
- Names and addresses of other people who have custody or visitation rights.
- A statement that the petitioner is a county resident in which the termination proceeding occurs.
- The grounds for termination of parental rights.
- The facts and circumstances support your claim.
After filing the affidavit, the court will set a date for a hearing to determine whether to terminate the birth parent’s parental rights. If the court decides to terminate parental rights, they will appoint an attorney for the children.
Petition the Court
A petitioner for adoption may be a child’s relative under some circumstances, including step-parents and grandparents. A person who wishes to adopt an adult must file with the court. However, courts will not allow adult adoption if there is any possibility that such action would deprive or substantially impair an individual’s right or eligibility for public assistance benefits.
In conclusion, there are no restrictions on age when adopting children through petitioning, but they often require home visits and background checks before approval. The adoptive parents must also agree to provide financial support and medical coverage for their newly adopted family members.
By Meghan Belnap
who is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family and residing in Oklahoma.