Adopting your spouse’s son or daughter is a way to show your love
and lifelong devotion to your stepchild. It can increase their self-esteem
and sense of belonging and help strengthen the relationship. Adoption
also allows a stepparent to retain the rights as a biological parent of
the child, giving them joint custody of the child with their spouse.
Before a stepparent can begin the adoption process, they require the consent
of the child’s other birth or legal parent. While some birth parents
are willing to consent to a stepparent adoption, others may refuse. If
this occurs, the adoption will not be allowed unless that parent’s
rights are terminated for abandonment, failure to support the child or
for another reason. An adoption lawyer can help you collect the evidence
required to terminate the rights of the birth parent.
Adoption Request Filing
Once you have consent to continue, you can file an Adoption Request with
the presiding California court. The form will ask you to provide information
about yourself, the child, your relation to the child and anything else
relevant to the adoption determination.
Social Services Investigation
After the Adoption Request, a lawyer can forward the request to the appropriate
social services agency, who will conduct a brief investigation of the
proposed adoption. The investigation will require you to gather relevant
documents and participate in social service interviews. The interview
and investigation stage of the process is crucial to your success. An
experienced adoption attorney can help you prepare for the interview.
The final step is a hearing before the family court judge who will make
a decision on whether or not the adoption is in the best interests of
the child. These are a few factors a judge may look at:
- Child’s age, health, safety and welfare
- History of domestic violence
- Biological parent’s ability to care for the child, if applicable
- Emotional relationship between you and child
If you are a stepparent interested in adopting your stepchild, contact our
Temecula stepparent adoption lawyers at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. We can provide legal assistance
to give you the support and representation needed to achieve your goals.
Learn more about adoption and how we can help by reaching out to us.
(951) 506-6654 or
contact us online
for a free consultation.