Stepparent, Family Member & Adult Adoptions
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 legal parent. Most commonly, the stepparent/domestic partner wants to adopt the child born to the spouse/domestic partner from a previous relationship or marriage.
The process for Stepparent/Domestic Partner adoption usually begins with the attorney preparing and filing the petition for adoption. There is an investigation of the prospective adoptive stepparent and will be conducted according to the protocol of the county where the stepparent/partner lives. Each county is different, and the Stockdale Law Firm, Inc. in El Dorado Hills, is experienced working the the courts and their 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:
- 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 not an occasional attempt at support or a relationship with the child.
If the court considers the child to be abandoned then the parent(s) rights are terminated and the adoption can move forward to finalization.
Two adults who are not related to one another are allowed obtain a legal relationship with one another as parent and adult child through the process of adult adoption in California.
Adults often seek adult adoption to obtain a “legal relationship” of parent and child, when there is already a significant informal parent child relationship existing, such as in the case of a stepparent or other person that has provided a parental role in the young adult’s life. The adult adoption may make it easier to deal with some of the complex issues involved with estate planning.
In an adult adoption, both parties enter into a written adoption agreement, and a petition is filed with the court. If either the two parties is married, the consent of their spouse is also required.
In an adult adoption there is no requirement for an investigation or consent of the biological parents of the adoptee. The court does ask about the reason or purpose for seeking an adult adoption, which our Firm will include in the documents we submit to the court. Adult adoptions can be completed much more quickly that adoptions involving minors.
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 adult adoption, please complete this online request form.