Stepparent Adoptions

At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, our Arizona family law attorneys have been protecting and promoting the best interest of children for almost two decades.

Stable loving families are always in the best interest of children, and we are pleased to provide adoption services to help stepparents formalize their relationship with a stepchild through legal adoption. Contact our family law office to schedule an appointment to begin the process.

How to Adopt a Child: The Process of Stepparent Adoption

A stepparent adoption is not complicated and, in many cases, can be accomplished quickly. The only area of potential difficulty may be the first step: termination of parental rights of the non-participating/absentee birth parent.

It is usually the case that a stepparent who wishes to adopt a child has been filling a parental role for some time but without the legal rights that accompany biological parentage. The absent biological parent often has had no direct involvement or relationship with the child, and may or may not be paying child support.

The easiest way is if the absent parent will sign a document relinquishing his or her parental rights. Sometimes the request to relinquish parental rights is emotionally difficult and the biological parent may delay or need reassurance. Most often, however, the biological parent is in agreement with the stepparent adoption and signs the papers with minimal delay. A stepparent adoption means the biological parent will no longer be responsible for paying child support and will no longer have any legal rights over the child.

If the biological parent is uncooperative, or their whereabouts are unknown, a hearing will need to be held to terminate that parent's rights. Remaining steps include paperwork and a court appearance, and investigation by a family services agency. It is not as complicated as an independent or agency adoption.

Why Adopt a Child: The Benefits of a Stepparent Adoption

There are many ways in which a stepparent adoption can benefit a child. The stepparent now gains the ability to make decisions on behalf of the child regarding school, medical care, and other important life issues. The child can inherit from the stepparent, and vice versa. But the most important benefit is the security, sense of belonging, and love that the child and stepparent both gain from formalizing their relationship.

Contact Us

Allow us to help your family with a stepparent adoption. Contact us online, to schedule an appointment with a Gilbert adoption lawyer: