Step-Parent Adoption Lawyers in Riverside
Know the Legal Implications of Adopting Stepchildren
When families combine, one spouse often wants to adopt the children of
the other spouse. In most states, step-parent
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 a step-parent to adopt their spouse's children, the other
birth parent will have to give their consent. By consenting, the birth
parent gives up all of their parental rights; however, if you can prove
abandonment or that the other parent is unfit, or if you can establish
that they are not in fact biologically related, then their rights could
It is important to note that same-sex partners are not able to adopt the
other partner's children using the step-parent adoption procedure.
Filing for Step-Parent Adoption in California
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 Step-Parent Adoption
When filling 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 by a Step-Parent
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 Lawyer for a Step-Parent Adoption in Riverside?
Due to the numerous complications that could arise during a step-parent
adoption, having a Riverside family attorney on your side could prove
to be invaluable. A step-parent adoption 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!