The Basics on Stepparent Adoption
- Posted on: Apr 27 2021
If you’ve married someone who has children from a previous relationship, you may decide to formally adopt them as your own. While many people in your life, including your spouse, the child, and others, may already see you as the child’s parent, in the eyes of the law, you are not. Because of this, adding those extra legal protections and rights is something that you may need to do, especially if the child’s other biological parent is deceased or if they require special medical care.
The Benefits of Stepparent Adoption
Besides having the legal authority to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and other factors, adoption also has a number of other benefits. It means the child is legally entitled to be on your health insurance, and they will be seen as a legal heir in the event of your death. Adopting your stepchild will also give you both a sense of permanence. It can make you feel even more like a permanent family.
How Does Stepparent Adoption Differ from Other Adoption Processes?
The standard adoption process can take quite some time, but as a stepparent, you will likely be able to skip over some of the steps or greatly shorten them. A home study may not be required, especially if you and the child’s parent have been married and living together for a number of years. If the child is older, they may legally be able to consent to the adoption, which can also shorten the time it takes to complete the process.
However, there is one roadblock that you may face: the child’s other biological parent will have to relinquish their rights for you to adopt the child as your own. Your spouse must also be the court-recognized custodial parent. If the parent is involved in their child’s life, it can be difficult to get them to consent to giving up their rights. If they are deceased, this isn’t an issue, but if they are alive but absent, there are specific steps that must be followed in order for the court to terminate their rights without their consent.
This is where the FK Law Group can help. We have years of experience working with adoption cases, and we can assist you in legally adopting your stepchild in the easiest, quickest manner. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss the adoption process.