At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC in Arizona, our attorneys have been protecting and promoting the best interest of children for almost two decades. Families trust us with their family law needs because we walk them through the adoption process with as little stress involved as possible.
Children deserve stable, loving families, and we are committed to offering adoption counsel to help stepparents establish 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
Stepparent adoption is often easy and fast to complete. The first step toward stepparent adoption can be the most complex, however: terminating the non-participating or absentee parent’s parental rights.
Often, a stepparent seeking adoption has been filling a parental role for that child already, but they have lacked the legal rights that biological parentage provides. In many of these cases, the biological parent has had no relationship or direct involvement with the child. That parent may or may not be providing child support.
If the absent biological parent agrees to sign a document relinquishing parental rights, the stepparent’s adoption case may be simple. However, relinquishing parental rights can be emotionally difficult for the biological parent. They may delay signing the document or require reassurance. Sometimes, the biological parent agrees that the stepparent adoption is in the child’s best interest and signs the papers without a long delay. If the biological parent agrees to relinquish their parental rights, they will not have to pay child support, nor will they have legal rights regarding the child.
When the biological parent does not cooperate or cannot be located, you can then move to terminate that parent’s rights through a formal hearing. A hearing will require paperwork, a court appearance and a family services agency investigation. Despite these challenges, stepparent adoption is typically less complicated than 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 can make decisions about school, medical care, and other important matters for the child. As with a typical biological parent-child relationship, the child and the stepparent can inherit from each other. The main benefit, however, is the sense of security, belonging, and love that both stepparent and child gain from adoption.