The term stepparent adoption deals with the legal process of petitioning the court to establish a legal parent-child relationship with an adoptive parent that is not the child’s biological or birth parent.
This means that upon the adoption being finalized, the adoptive parents have all of the same legal responsibilities and rights of a normal parent-child relationship. The result is a new parent-child relationship that is permanent and indistinguishable from that of a birth parent’s. Court generally like to see the person seeking to adopt the child has been married to or in a domestic partnership with that child’s biological parent for at least one year prior to the petition.
In order to complete the stepparent adoption process, you must file the appropriate forms with the court and seek consent from the child’s other biological parent. If gaining consent is not an option, there are other remedies available such as a termination of parental rights. After the correct paperwork has been filed, an investigation will be conducted and a report will be created. That report is then submitted to the court, and the court makes a ruling on the adoption.
How long the process takes, from beginning to end, depends largely on the facts of your case but generally can be completed within one year.
Regardless of if you find yourself wanting to adopt your partner’s child or if you wish to contest an adoption of your biological child, our office can help. Please contact us today to set up a consultation.
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Adult Child Support
Assisted Reproduction Technology Litigation
Child Custody and Visitation
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Divorce with Children with Special Needs
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