A Family Law Attorney

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What you should know about stepparent adoptions

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2023 | Adoptions |

Did you know that nearly 40% of adoptions that occur in the US involve stepparents? Stepparent adoptions and foster care adoptions have the greatest percentage of adoptions in the US.

Stepparent adoptions typically begin because one biological parent is not involved in the children’s lives. If you have stepchildren that you want to adopt, there are a few things you should know about stepparent adoption.

Adoption with consent

To adopt your stepchildren, you need to gain consent from both biological parents. You see, one parent will relinquish his or her parental rights to give them to you. If the other biological parent is not involved in the children’s lives and does not want to continue paying child support, you may have no trouble gaining consent. However, if the parent does not want to surrender these rights, you may have a fight on your hands.

If your stepchildren are over 10 years of age, you may also need their consent.

When consent is not necessary

Courts take parental rights seriously, but there are circumstances in which a judge will revoke them, which can accelerate your stepparent adoption. Abuse, incarceration, and neglect make a parent unfit. Also, If one parent abandons the children, a judge may revoke his or her parental rights. Finally, you can try to prove that the children are not biologically related to the parent.

The adoption process

Most adoptions require extensive investigations, including background checks, interviews and home studies, of those seeking the adoption. However, if you live with the children as their stepparent, you may experience a less-extensive investigation or bypass it altogether.

Once you and a judge finalize your stepparent adoption, you gain the responsibilities and rights of a biological parent.