Stepparent Adoption

As the rate of divorce climbs and blended families become more common, the need for stepparent adoptions has risen. A stepparent adoption is when a stepmother or stepfather adopts his or her spouse’s child, thus creating a legal parent-child relationship between the child and the stepparent. This type of adoption can be a fairly simple process depending on the individuals involved and whether the other biological parent is agreeable to the adoption.

It is important to understand that the legal relationship created between the stepparent and child in an adoption provides the stepparent with the legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. Even if the stepparent and the biological parent were to later divorce, the stepparent’s legal relationship is such that his or her rights to parent the child would survive the termination of the marriage. Once approved by the court, the stepparent adoption is permanent. The child’s last name is often changed and the birth certificate is changed as well.

We Can Assist Your Family in Processing an Adoption

To start the adoption process, the stepparent must file a petition. If both biological parents consent to the adoption, the process is relatively simple and mainly consists of paperwork and a home study conducted by a person approved by the court. Our team of family law attorneys will draft all necessary documents to ensure your adoption is filed properly and we will appear at the final hearing to ask appropriate questions before the judge.

If the other parent does not consent, however, the process becomes more complicated. Generally, the other parent must consent to the stepparent adoption; however, if he or she has committed certain actions, consent may not be required and the adoption can proceed without it. When necessary, our attorneys negotiate with biological parents to obtain their consent. We can also assist in locating a biological parent whose whereabouts is uncertain in order to receive his or her consent.

Whether the stepparent adoption is contested or uncontested, we can provide the knowledge and legal guidance necessary to facilitate the smoothest process possible in your scenario.

Formalize Family Bonds with Full Knowledge of Your Rights & Responsibilities

Both biological parents and stepparents need to know their rights and responsibilities regarding the adoption before they decide to consent or file a petition. In addition to handling the significant amount of documentation required to complete an adoption, our attorneys will also appear at the final hearing and ask relevant questions before a judge to demonstrate that all parties are fully informed of and in agreement with the implications of the stepparent adoption.

Stepparent adoptions are generally happy occasions. If you are interested in learning more about a stepparent adoption, please contact our office today at 513-751-4420 and schedule a consultation so that we may assist you with the process. Our Ohio and Northern Kentucky family law attorneys can represent you in a wide range of family law matters, including child custody, child support, and stepparent adoption.

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