A step-parent adoption can be important for many step parents and children. For that reason, it is helpful to understand the step-parent adoption process and the implications of a step-parent adoption of a child.
The step-parent adoption process
Step-parent adoptions may include some of the same requirements as other adoptions but may not have all the same requirements. A step-parent adoption may not require a home visit, for instance, but will still require that consent from the birth is obtained. The consent of the other birth parent is required for a step-parent adoption. If the birth parent’s parental rights have been terminated, then parental consent is not required.
If the other parent refuses to grant consent, the other option is to attempt to terminate their parental rights. Parental rights can be terminated in certain situations including if the parent has abandoned the child or is an unfit parent for the child. Additionally, parental rights of the putative father may be terminated if the father is not the biological father.
Once a step-parent has adopted a child, they will take on certain responsibilities and have certain rights. For many step-parents, they likely already have a relationship with the child and the step-parent adoption process simply makes the emotional relationship they have with the child one that is also legally recognized.
Step-parent adoptions have important emotional and legal implications parents and families should be familiar with. The family law process can help guide families through step-parent adoptions and other legal concerns families may have.