Being a stepparent is an important role in the life of your spouse’s child. The question is, “Do you have the same rights and obligations as the biological parent?”
Stepparent adoptions create such a relationship. The most challenging part of the adoption process is terminating the rights of the biological parent. Termination can be voluntarily or involuntarily. If the biological parent agrees to give up his or her rights, all that is needed is a signature on a document relinquishing parental rights.
If the parent is uncooperative, you can petition the court to step in. Your job is to prove that the biological parent had the means to support the child, but failed to do so. In addition, you must show that the biological parent had no communication with the child for at least two years prior to filing the termination petition.
A stepparent adoption provides you with a sense of security over the relationship with your stepchild. It gives you comfort knowing that the law recognizes your relationship.
If you are interested in adopting your spouse’s child, contact an Orange County Family Law attorney who is familiar with stepparent adoption cases – one who can guide your through the process.