Adoption Law Firms
Stepparent and relative adoptions are generally much easier than other types of adoption. A home study may not be required, or it may be minimal. Each state, of course, is different, and you will need to consult with an adoption law firm in your state. There are still some very important legal issues to address, and it can get complicated if a biological parent objects to the adoption. The adoption law firms listed in this directory are here to help.
As a stepparent you may already feel and act like a full-fledged parent, but in the eyes of the law you are not. While it may not matter in your heart, it can cause serious problems in real life. Stepparent adoption gives you the full legal rights and responsibilities that a biological parent enjoys. You will have decision-making powers that you do not have as a stepparent.
You and your child will know that your relationship is secure and permanent. Your relationship with the child is no longer contingent on your relationship with the other parent. If you divorce or separate you will have custody and visitation rights as well as child support obligations.
Stepparent adoption is not appropriate in every situation, but in cases where the biological parent has passed away or is no longer involved with the child it can help you move forward as a cohesive family unit and provide a much deeper sense of love and security for the child.
Relative adoption is appropriate in several scenarios. If one or both biological parents die, it is almost always preferable for a relative to adopt the child. It can also be appropriate when living biological parents may be unwilling or unable to care for their children or if a child is taken away from their parents by child protective services. Relative adoption is often sought by:
- Great-aunts and great-uncles
In a relative adoption, as with other types of adoption, termination of parental rights is necessary if the birth parents are living. If the birth parent consents, voluntary termination of parental rights is usually fairly simple. If the parent objects, you must seek involuntary termination of parental rights in order to adopt. This can be very difficult to achieve and is not always in the child’s best interest.
To learn more about stepparent and relative adoption, please search this directory for an adoption law firm in your area.