As a stepparent, you play a very important role in your stepchild’s life. However, your rights may not extend as far as you’d like, in which case you may consider adopting your spouse’s child to legally be your own. Many stepparents are more present in a child’s life than the child’s biological parents, in which it is for the child’s best interests to be legally under the care of an adult who chooses to be involved.
As you may be aware, adoption can be an expensive and drawn-out process, as the courts are extremely thorough in determining parental rights to someone who is not the biological mother or father of the child in question. Stepparent adoption is easier in many ways than that of a third-party attempting to adopt a child, though it is not without its own challenges.
One of the most important issues to resolve in order to successfully adopt your stepchild is obtaining the consent of the other birth parent. The only exception to this rule is if the other parent has lost his or her legal rights due to abandonment, neglect, failure to pay child support, or if he or she has proven to be an unfit parent in any other way. You may run into some challenges getting this consent because the other parent will then have to give up his or her own parental rights.
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At Malinowski Hubbard, PLLC, we understand family law matters are some of the most challenging and emotional for our clients to endure. This is why our Fairfax family law attorneys are committed to offering top-rated, personalized solutions for even the worst of your legal woes. Whether you are in need of an informative guide or an aggressive advocate, you won’t regret having us on your side.
Contact us at your earliest convenience by calling (703) 935-4222.