Families come in all shapes and sizes. Today, many families include children who have been adopted by stepparents. These relationships can be very special, and they can become legal parent-child relationships thanks to the court.
Are you thinking about adopting your stepchild? These are some of the steps involved in the legal process.
Make Sure Adoption Is Right for Your Family
Adoption is a great choice for many families, but it is not the best choice for every family. You should consult with every member of the family and perhaps even a counselor to understand not only the legal implications but also the emotional ones. You may visit a therapist or attorney to discuss what happens next.
The Other Parent Must Relinquish Their Rights
One of the most difficult components of adopting a stepchild is having the rights of the other parent relinquished. The parent must sign away their rights, which is often only legal in some states when another party is willing to step in and adopt the child. If the other parent readily agrees, this makes the entire process much easier.
The Custodial Parent Must Agree
Your spouse, the custodial parent of the child, must agree to the adoption as well. The child's parent must be on board with the adoption and sign the paperwork, even if both of you are already legally married.
The Child May Be Asked
Depending on the age of the child, they may be asked about their opinion about the adoption. The child will not make the final decision, but the judge will want to ensure that the child does not have serious objections.
You Will Have a Court Date
All adoptions that involve minor children involve court hearings. You will go before the judge, who will hear the request for the adoption. The judge will look over the documents and possibly ask some questions. These will involve details about your home, siblings, and desire to care for the child.
Once you receive your answer, the judge will sign the paperwork. You will turn it in to the administration office and receive a new birth certificate for the child in the mail.
Consult With a Family Lawyer
Family lawyers handle all types of situations, including adoptions so that the legal process does not have to be intimidating. Contact a family lawyer to learn more about your legal options for adopting your stepchild todayShare
29 December 2020
Too many single people assume they don't need to plan their estate. My brother fell into this category, and his unexpected passing left our entire family struggling to deal with his home, belongings, and financial accounts. It took nearly three years for the courts to set up a deal because he left no paperwork detailing how he wanted his estate divided. The situation immediately convinced me to work on my own estate, even though I'm still in my early 30's and don't have children or a spouse to worry about. Since it's a little harder to pick beneficiaries and estate managers when you're single, I collected the resources I used for making my own decisions and decided to publish them here on my blog. Use these resources before talking to an estate planning attorney so you're prepared for making hard decisions.