If you have stepchildren, you understand that they can bring a great degree of joy to your life. At the same time, there are some logistical challenges that you need to navigate as well. Sometimes, you may be able to rectify these logistical challenges by adopting your stepchildren. There are a lot of questions that stepparents have about adopting stepchildren. Take a look at some of the most common questions below, and reach out to us with any additional questions you might have.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stepparent Adoptions
Some of the most common questions that stepparents ask about the adoption process include:
How challenging is it to adopt stepchildren?
Generally, if you are already a stepparent in the child’s life, it is much easier to go through the adoption process. However, several important steps still have to be taken. If the child already resides in a household with the birth parent and the stepparent, then the requirement of a home visit is not necessarily required. The biggest issue that stepparents will face is that the birth parents need to provide consent. Depending on your specific situation, this could be easy to get, or it could be a bigger challenge.
Am I required to get consent from the birth parents if I want to adopt my stepchild?
Yes. If you want to adopt your stepchild, you need to get the consent of both birth parents. On the other hand, there are situations where the process might be easier. There is a chance that you may already have one of the birth parents in your home. There is a good chance they will consent to the adoption. If the rights of the other birth parent have already been terminated, then you don’t need to worry about getting consent from that birth parent. Sometimes, it can be difficult to obtain consent for an adoption from the other birth parents because they will need to give up all of their rights and responsibilities. If the other birth parent does not have a relationship with a child at all, then it may be easier to get consent.
If one birth parent does not consent to the adoption process, is it possible to still move forward?
If the other birth parent does not want to consent to the adoption process, it may still be possible for you to move forward with the adoption. It simply means that you need to find a way to terminate their parental rights. For example, you may be able to terminate their parental rights if you can prove that the other birth parent has not communicated with the child recently. This is termed child abandonment, and different states have different standards that you need to meet. Or you may be able to get the other birth parent deemed as unfit. If the other parent is incarcerated, has a long history of drug and alcohol use, or has been abusive, you may be able to prove that the other parent is unfit. This can be a complicated process, which is why it is easier to work with a lawyer who can help you.
If we are a same-sex couple, can I adopt my partner’s children?
Yes, it is possible for you to adopt your partner’s children if you are a same-sex couple. A Supreme Court ruling that was released in 2015 overturned all bans in all states across the United States on same-sex marriage. You may still encounter some challenges along the way, which is why it is always better to work with a lawyer who can help you with this process.
Is it expensive to adopt stepchildren?
A lot of people are concerned about how expensive it will be to adopt their stepchildren. There are a lot of factors involved in the adoption process. You need to think about the potential home visits required, the paperwork you have to fill out, and the number of court filings it takes. If you want to streamline the process, you could work with an attorney who can help you. Our office is always available to lend a helping hand.
Rely on the Setzer Law Firm for Help With Adoptions
If you would like to adopt your stepchildren, it would be our pleasure to help you. We are the Setzer Law Firm, and we have a tremendous amount of experience working with families of all backgrounds. We would be happy to leverage our experience to help you, and we can make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. You need someone in your corner who will advocate for your rights, so count on an attorney from our team. Contact us today for a case consultation. It would be our pleasure to assist you.