Stepparent Adoption: How It Works

Parental rights are conferred to most parents at the time a child is born. This ensures that the child has parents who are legally obligated to care for them. Sometimes, however, a parent enters the picture later who wants to take on the obligations of parenthood. Stepparent adoption allows for those parents to formally take on those responsibilities.

Stepparent adoption allows the stepparent to have all of the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. This includes all the benefits conferred to a biological parent as well as the responsibilities such as liability for child support should the union dissolve.

Depending on the state and jurisdiction, up to three people will need to approve the stepparent adoption: both biological parents and potentially the child being adopted if they are older than 10. Getting permission from the biological parents can often be challenging since most jurisdictions only allow two parents to have rights at a time. This means that the stepparent may be replacing the parental rights of the biological parent. 

If there is a conflict of parental rights, a divorce & family law attorney should be retained to protect the child’s best interests.

Other than obtaining permission from the biological parent(s), stepparent adoption is considered to be a relatively smooth legal process in comparison to a traditional adoption, which involves screening procedures such as detailed interviews, home studies and background checks. In fact, with stepparent adoption, the child may already be living with the stepparent when the process is started.

If you are looking into the process of stepparent adoption, you should consult with a divorce & family law attorney. An experienced divorce & family law attorney can help you navigate your state’s stepparent adoption laws and may be able to use their expertise to fast-track the process for your family. The best place to find a divorce & family law attorney is Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys and law firms allows us to match you with the divorce & family law attorney in your area that is best for your specific circumstances. Our partners have the resources, legal expertise, and experience to handle any case. In addition to a distinguished case record, our partners also excel in client care. 

Family law can be treacherous and stressful. Our partners can help unify your family in the quickest and easiest way. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and assert your parental rights.

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