Step-parent Adoption Lawyers

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Is it Difficult for a Step-parent to Adopt a Step-child?

Step-parent adoptions account for the majority of adoptions in the United States.  Although adoption laws vary from state to state, step-parent adoptions are generally much easier to obtain than other kinds of adoptions.

Are there different rules for adoption by stepparents?

The general adoption procedure is the same for step-parents, but there are some parts which are often waived or glossed over.  These include: 

What if the Biological Parent Consents to the Step-parent Adoption?

The step-parent adoption process will be easier if the biological parent consents.  In doing so, the biological parent will give up all rights and obligations to the child, including the right to visitation and to make medical and educational decisions, as well as the obligation to pay child support.

What if the Biological Parent Refuses to Consent to the Step-parent Adoption?

If the biological parent refuses to consent to the step-parent adoption it is still possible for the step-parent to successfully adopt the step-child.  However, a lawsuit will have to be brought against the biological parent.  This lawsuit will aim to terminate his or her biological rights.  Grounds for terminating a parent¿s biological rights include: 

What if We Have No Idea Where or Who the Biological Parent Is?

The biological parent must consent to the adoption or have his or her rights terminated by a court.  This is true even if the biological parent's whereabouts are unknown.  But if the parent has been absent for a year or more his or her rights could be terminated on the ground of abandonment.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Adopt my Step-child?

Because of the complexity of the adoption process, it may be wise to consult with a family lawyer.  Speaking with an experienced family law attorney will help you understand your rights and obligations as well as preserve any possible remedies you may have.

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Last Modified: 04-08-2014 02:20 PM PDT

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