If you married someone with children from a previous relationship and have an interest in expanding your role as a parent, you are probably considering adoption. Adopting a stepchild is not as complex as most other forms of adoption. That said, you would still greatly benefit from legal assistance to ensure the process goes smoothly and you avoid unnecessary delays.
Adopting Your Stepchild
If your stepchild’s other parent is, for the most part, out of the picture, the adoption process may not be too challenging. If that parent wishes to be relieved of child support obligations and does not have a bond with the child, receiving consent may be an easy task. When a parent signs a consent waiver of rights, this act essentially terminates all parental rights to the child, making it possible for the adoption to move forward.
If the child’s other parent is still involved or does not wish to consent to the adoption, it may still be possible for the adoption to go through. However, the path ahead will have some challenges.
Here are some circumstances in which a parent’s rights may be terminated without consent:
- The other parent abandoned the child. In this context, failing to provide financial support or neglecting to speak with the child may both be considered abandonment. However, this must generally go on for one year before the parent’s rights are terminated.
- The other parent is deemed unfit by the court. Unfitness may include abuse, neglect, substance abuse, mental disturbance, or incarceration.
- It can be proven that the other parent is not legally the child’s father.
Adopting a stepchild can be challenging if the other parent refuses to give consent, so it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.
Discuss Your Stepparent Adoption Case with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney Today!
If you are seeking to expand your role as a parent to your stepchild through adoption, you should not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher for the skilled legal advice and support you need. Our client-focused team will help you smoothly navigate this process and achieve the best possible results.
Reach out to our law office today at (352) 503-4111 to set up a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.