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Stepparent adoption is the most common form of adoption. The stepparent who adopts agrees to take full legal responsibly for his or her spouse’s child. In most cases for the adoption to occur there must be consent from the child and both biological parents. After the stepparent adoption occurs, the parent not living with the child no longer has any rights or responsibilities for the child, including child support. The adopting parent will have complete legal authority and responsibility over child.
Many families pursue Stepparent Adoption to solidify legal status of children or emotionally solidify a blended family. After a stepparent adoption, the adopting parent now has the same legal rights as a biological parent. Before adoption, a stepparent has limited legal rights. If the spouse died or was mentally incapacitated, the stepparent would not have legal authority over the children. The court could award custody to another family member.
Once the stepparent adoption is complete the biological parent who surrenders legal status no longer has any rights or responsibilities, including child support. These rights and commitments now belong to the stepparent.
If the biological parent is willing to surrender their rights and responsibilities of the child, then the process moves smoothly and is relatively inexpensive. However, there are issues that can slow down or prevent a stepparent adoption.
A parent unwilling to surrender their rights is the most common hindrance to a Stepparent Adoption. There are exceptions that still allow for stepparent to adopt the child, these exceptions include: if the children were abandoned, if there has not been contact between the child and biological parent for a long duration of time, or if child support has not been paid for a long period of time. In instances where the biological parent cannot be located the court requires the stepparent to demonstrate comprehensive efforts to locate the missing biological parent. The child being adopted has influence over the process. In California, children over the age of 12 must consent to the stepparent adoption.
To find an experienced Stepparent Adoption Attorney Lawyer, contact Attorney Search Network. We can help you find a local and experienced family lawyer who will help with your adoption case.
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