Marrying into a family is a beautiful process. Not only do you gain a new life partner, but you also could potentially gain new relationships with step-children. While it is not a requirement to adopt your step-children, some individuals feel led to solidify the parental bonds they have with their spouses’ children. If you want to adopt your step-child, here are some of the essential pieces of advice you should know.
The first step in adopting your stepchild is filing an adoption request in your home county. The form requires basic information about yourself, the adopter. It also asks for information about the child’s biological parents and your relation to the child.
After you send in your adoption request paperwork, social services will investigate the adoption. All important and relevant documents will be gathered during this process, such as birth certificates and other identification documents. Social services will also interview the parties involved, including the child. Keep in mind that these interviews and investigations serve as a way to determine what is best for the child.
If the child’s other biological parent is still living, they will have to consent to adoption. This is done by having the parent sign a form, which is a fairly simple process. However, not all parents want to give up their rights for their children. The other parent can choose to ignore the adoption and paperwork. In these situations, the courts assist in terminating the other parent’s rights.
The last step in this process is to stand before the judge and formally agree to the adoption. Typically these hearings are an exciting moment for the family involved, with relatives welcome to attend. The family and child will also receive a new birth certificate.
At any point in the adoption process, an experienced attorney can help immensely. For example, sometimes, the other parent will not want to consent to termination of parental rights. Don’t navigate these difficult situations alone.
Contact our team today at (916) 797-1575 to schedule an appointment for a consultation! We can provide the adoption advice you need.
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