Sometimes families with step-children and step-parents may decide that the time is right for the step-parent to officially adopt and take on responsibility for the step-child or children. When a stepparent adopts a stepchild, the non-custodial birth parent gives up legal rights to the child, which includes having an input in the child’s upbringing as well as paying child support. Adopting a step-child is usually faster and easier than other kinds of adoption, but in most states, the family must first have official consent from the non-custodial parent in order for the adoption to proceed. Depending on the circumstances, this may be either very difficult or very easy to achieve.
In some states, a background check and/or home evaluation may be required of the stepparent. After these requirements are met, consent from the other parent needs to be obtained unless a sufficient reason exists to waive the right of the non-custodial parent to deny consent. Here are some important points to keep in mind about obtaining consent:
- The path to obtaining consent varies from state to state. In fact, in some states all that is necessary is written consent, in others they must appear in court
- It is necessary to follow all the proper procedures to obtain consent, as some states may overturn the adoption if fraud is suspected
- Certain states can involuntarily revoke the non-custodial parent’s parental rights and allow an adoption by the step-parent if the non-custodial parent has, for example, been absent from the child’s life for a long period of time or is abusive, among other reasons.
Adoption is a complex issue, especially as the procedure for obtaining consent varies considerably from state to state. If you are considering adopting your step-child, it is important to get all of the specific information from a knowledgeable attorney.
The path to adopting a step-child can be tricky, but with the help and guidance of an experienced attorney, you should be able to adopt your step-child with as little difficulty as possible. If you are looking for more detailed information about this issue and how you can begin adoption procedures today, contact the Colleyville stepparent adoption attorneys of Alexander & Associates at 817-756-4040.