Riverside Step-Parent Adoption Lawyer
The Legal Implications of Adopting Stepchildren
When families combine, one spouse often wants to adopt the children of
the other spouse. In most states, this type of
adoption is not as difficult as other types of adoption, but the legal process
can still be complicated. When a conflict of interests occurs, step-parent
adoption can be one of the most complex aspects of
In order for the adoption to take place, the other birth parent will have
to give their consent. By consenting, the other parent gives up all of
their parental rights; however, if you can prove abandonment, that the
other parent is unfit, or establish that they are not in fact biologically
related, their rights could be terminated. Also, it is legal for same-sex
partners to adopt the other's children using the step-parent adoption
Steps to Filing for Adoption in CA
According to the Judicial Branch of California, there are certain steps
that must happen in order to finalize a step-parent adoption. First, court
forms will have to be filled out correctly and reviewed. Second, if there
is another birth parent, they will have to consent to the adoption. At
this point, a home study may be necessary, including an interview with
an investigator. Finally, a court date will be set and you will attend
the adoption hearing.
Legal Paperwork for Adoption
When filing out forms, it is important to make sure that you have the right
forms, and copies of each. There should be at least two copies made of
these forms before you file them with the court clerk. To ensure that
you have the right forms, check with your local court to see whether or
not additional forms must be completed. The family law facilitator at
your local court will have to evaluate your paperwork before you file
it with the court clerk.
The following forms are required for an adoption:
- Adoption request form
- Adoption agreement form
- Adoption order form
After you have filled out all pertinent forms, the completed and approved
paperwork must then be served to the child's other birth parent. Someone
other than the person attempting to adopt must serve the papers, and the
other birth parent must consent to this adoption; however, consent may
not be required if the other parent abandoned the child for more than
a year or failed child support payments.
Contesting a Petition for Adoption
To look at this from the opposite perspective, you may be a biological
parent of a child who does not wish for your child to be adopted by your
ex-partner's new spouse. You can contest this petition, since it requires
your approval for the adoption to take place. These cases can be exceedingly
complicated, making it almost a necessity to have an experienced attorney
on your side.
The overarching principle for these cases is what is in the best interests
of the child. You will likely have to undergo an investigation, along
with the person attempting to adopt. This investigation can be conducted
by either a social worker or court official. The final step is to attend
an adoption hearing. Depending on whether or not the adoption is contested,
the amount of time it takes to complete an adoption will vary.
Why Hire a Family Lawyer?
Due to the numerous complications that could arise during a step-parent
adoption, having a Riverside family law attorney on your side could prove
to be invaluable. A divorce lawyer can walk you through the entire process
and help diminish the time the adoption takes to be settled. Our team
at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich is committed to helping families
through this step.
Call us today to discuss your case with a member of our team!