The decision to adopt as a step parent can be an exciting one, and you’ll want to make sure that you take the steps needed to make it official by law. The adoption process begins with filing a petition to the court, where the absent parent will have an opportunity to oppose the adoption if they wish to do so.
If an absent birth parent does not oppose the adoption or they have consented to it, then the court will promptly finalize the step parent adoption. The child will be given a new birth certificate with the names of each parent updated. The absent parent’s rights do not have to be terminated prior to the adoption process. Instead, the court may end the absent parent’s rights through the ultimate judgment of step parent adoption.
There are several steps to the adoption process for step parents, including:
- Hiring an adoption lawyer
- Filing an adoption petition
- Gathering any needed consents
- Scheduling a final hearing
- Attending the final hearing
- Obtaining a birth certificate (amended)
At times, the most difficult part of adoption is obtaining consent from a birth parent. Many courts may try to understand the birth parent’s situation and based on that information will decide if their consent for adoption is necessary. An attempt at getting the birth parent’s approval may be made before concluding the case.
As a family lawyer in Tampa, FL from The McKinney Law Group knows, adoption can be an emotional time for the family members involved. It is recommended that you get support from a legal team who understands the nuances of adoption law.