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Advice for a Smooth and Successful Step-Parent Adoption

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2017 | Family Law

Just because someone goes through a divorce does not mean that they will never find marriage again. In fact, many people who get divorced look to get remarried. When someone gets remarried to someone with children, they often worry about how they will be received by the children. After all, marrying someone with kids requires being accepted by the children as well.

Many times, the step-parent falls in love with the children as well and may seek to become their legal parent. When this seems likely, there are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind to make sure that a step-parent adoption goes as smoothly as possible.

This Process May Require the Consent of the Other Parent

When a step-parent becomes a fixture in the lives of their spouse’s children, many families will seek to recognize this role legally; however, if the other parent is alive, this process may require their consent. Some biological parents will have no issue with this situation, especially if they aren’t involved in the lives of their children; however, this could get complicated because this consent could also require the termination of their legal parental rights. While this process happens regularly, it is still something that both parties should be aware of.

If the Children are Older, it Could Require Their Consent as Well

When the adoption process takes place with older children, the court system could see the children as mentally competent to voice their own opinion on the matter. Therefore, the court could ask for the children to give consent before allowing the adoption to take place. This typically happens when the children are teenagers and have the mental capacity to eloquently voice their preference. Again, this might not be a challenge for a step-parent adoption; however, this is another hurdle that the family will have to clear.

Other Obstacles to Consider

When the adoption process gets moving, the step-parent will have to pass several other clearances. A criminal background check will likely be completed on the adopting parent. They may also be fingerprinted. A social worker will likely pay a visit to the home to ensure that the home is a safe place to raise children. The adopting parent may be asked a few questions by the social worker concerning their line of work, experience with children, and social habits. All of this is a standard procedure but will still happen even if the family already lives together. Families should remain ready for a visit from social work.

The adoption process has several legal challenges to overcome even when the step-parent already lives with the kids. This is one of the reasons why anyone who is considering adopting their step-children should hire an experienced attorney. A lawyer can ensure that this process proceeds as smoothly as possible.

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