Who Puts Family First
Making Your Family Complete Through Stepparent Adoption
Stepparent adoption isn’t for every family, but it can be an exciting new chapter for some. Not only can a stepparent adoption make a child feel emotionally welcomed into a new family structure, but a stepchild who is adopted also has the same legal rights as a biological child, including inheritance and medical insurance coverage.
You must take several steps with the court before it will finalize a stepparent adoption and make you a legal parent. An experienced family law attorney can help you make sure you meet all the requirements.
The Law Offices of Joseph A. Guillama has 15 years of experience working with families of all types during legal challenges. We know the law regarding adoption issues in Pennsylvania and will guide you through every step you must take to make adoption a reality. Our attorney, Joseph A. Guillama, understands the process and cares about children and their families.
The Required Steps For Adoption
Pennsylvania family law requires you to take several legal steps before the court will finalize your adoption. These steps include:
- Parental consent – If both biological parents still have legal parental rights, they both must consent to the stepparent adoption. In order for a stepparent to adopt, the court must terminate the parental rights of the noncustodial parent.
- Petition to adopt – The next step is submitting a petition to the court for the adoption. You do not have to submit to a home visit.
- Preliminary hearings – In some cases, the court will hold preliminary hearings to review information in the petition. If the child is over 12, the court may ask for his or her consent to the adoption.
- Finalization hearing – The court will set a hearing to finalize the adoption. If the court did not hold preliminary hearings, the judge may ask about the petition and consent of the child. If approved, the judge will issue an adoption certificate.
- New birth certificate – Once you have the adoption certificate, you can apply for a new birth certificate. At this point, you can also change the child’s last name if you wish.
Attorney Joseph A. Guillama will take the time to listen to your goals for the process and discuss your options with you. We look forward to helping you make a brighter future for your family through the adoption process.