Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

Review of the stepparent adoption process

The relationship between a child and their step parent is just as loving and important as a relationship between a biological parent and a child. The stepmother or stepfather steps in and becomes the child's other parent for all practical purposes.

The stepmother or stepfather therefore literally steps in and becomes the child's other parent for all practical purposes.

A stepparent may want to formalize this sort of relationship by legally adopting his or her stepchild, making their filial bond official. This does involve a legal process which, although simpler than a full-blown adoption in which a child will receive two new legal parents, nonetheless involves some important legal hurdles.

The most important of these hurdles is to get the consent of the child's biological parent whom the stepparent proposes to legally replace, assuming of course that parent is still living. If consent is not possible, a stepparent may be able to adopt if the other parent has effectively abandoned the child.

What constitutes abandonment is a legal question best answered by a family law attorney, but it entails more than a parent's just being sporadic with his or her visits or behind on child support.

The process of stepparent adoption will also involve filling out the appropriate paperwork correctly and going through a home study, as both the State of California and the courts have to acknowledge that the adoption is in the children's best interests. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can be very helpful for those facing the adoption process. Something so important needs reliable guidance.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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