Step-Parent Adoption

Step-parent adoption is when the legal parent has custody of a child and his or her spouse or domestic partner seeks to become the child’s other legal parent. Most commonly, the step-parent/domestic partner wants to adopt the child born to the spouse/domestic partner from a previous relationship or marriage.

The process for step-parent/domestic partner adoption usually begins with the attorney preparing and filing the petition for adoption. There is social worker investigation of the prospective adoptive step-parent that will be conducted according to the rules of the county in which the step-parent/partner lives. Each county is different, and Stockdale Law Firm is experienced working with the courts and corresponding investigators in the counties we serve including Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado & Amador.

Our firm would then work to either obtain the consent to the adoption from the biological (other) parent, obtain a waiver of parental rights or request that the court terminate the parental rights in the case of an absent parent. Before the adoption can be finalized, one of the following criteria must be met:
– Both parents must consent to the adoption or
– The biological father/mother must waive his rights or
– The court must terminate the person’s parental rights.

Adoptions can also occur on the grounds of abandonment, which means the child was left without support or without communication by one or both parents for a period of time. The court considers the interests of the child, and recognizes that parenting requires a commitment to the child from the parent more than an occasional relationship or attempt at support. If the court considers the child to be abandoned, the parent(s) rights are terminated and the adoption can move forward to finalization.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with one of our firm’s experienced family law attorneys to learn how we can help you with your adoption, please complete our online request form.

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