How do I Initiate a Stepparent Adoption?

iStock_000004107146_LargeWhat happens if your child’s birthparent has not been supporting or visiting your child for an extended period of time? What if you wish for your husband or wife, the child’s stepparent, to officially adopt the child? Stepparent adoption may not be as difficult as other types of child adoption, but there are steps that you must go through in California to obtain these rights.

Will the Biological Parent Consent? 

This is one of the biggest questions in an adoption case because consent is necessary. If the birth parent refuses to consent, you have very little in the way of options aside from terminating the parent’s rights. However, then you must prove a case of abandonment, unfitness, or failure to support the child. Giving consent means the parent must give up all parental rights, which many birth parents will not do. This is why you must go through the process of parental rights termination.

Can you prove that the absent parent has abandoned the child? Can you prove that the parent is not the presumed father? If a parent has not exercised their rights for some time or the parent does not meet the legal definition of a presumed father, then you probably have grounds for termination. In this case, rights will be terminated if the criteria are met, and a stepparent will have the chance to adopt.

What Should I Know in California?

In California, there is a specialized process for a stepparent to adopt after termination. You must understand that there are many documents needed from you as well as an extensive court process, which is why you should have a specialized attorney on your side that understands the ins and outs. You must be able to prepare paperwork to terminate parental rights, file the necessary forms, serve the documents, and attend the termination hearing. An attorney will prepare you for testimony and help you gather evidence for your case. This is why you should give us a call today so we can get started on your needs. We are waiting to hear from you.