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What should I know about stepparent adoption?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2023 | Family Law

Adoption is a big step for anyone. It can enrich relationships and make meaningful changes in your life. Before you and your new partner start the stepparent adoption process, you can expect the following results:

  • Legalizing your new partner’s parental relationship with your child.
  • Designating your new partner as your kid’s conservator.
  • Giving your kid the privilege to inherit from your new partner.
  • Ending your former partner’s legal obligations as a parent.
  • Terminating your former partner’s child support duties, excluding back payments.
  • Allowing you to apply for a new birth certificate for your kid.

Important requirements

First, you file a petition and pay a fee. However, your family must meet the following conditions before you can apply:

  • You have an order terminating your former partner’s parental rights.
  • Your kid has lived with your new partner for at least 6 months before receiving a court decision. Exceptions can apply, depending on the circumstances.

All involved parties will appear in court for the adoption hearing. However, the court might ask you to attend multiple sessions for evaluations. Additionally, your child must consent to the adoption if they are over 12 years old. It can be a court appearance or a written document.

It is worth the effort

The court will always prioritize the best interest of your child. This can make the process more complicated. The judge might assign an attorney to your kid, review your criminal records, check registries or order a child custody evaluation. Fortunately, you can hire a lawyer to help you out. They may seem tedious but following these steps can help speed up the process.