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Is There Any Way That I Can Adopt My Stepchildren?

On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in adoption on Saturday, December 30, 2017.

If you marry a person who is a parent, you may reach a point where you wish to adopt your stepkids. Stepparent adoption can be a beautiful way to grow your Kentucky family, but there could be certain roadblocks standing between you and your ultimate objective. If you are looking to formalize and legally establish your relationship with your stepkids, you would be wise to seek a full understanding of your options.

One of the main hurdles to accomplishing your goal of adopting your stepchildren is gaining the consent of the other biological parent. These can be complex issues, and the other parent may not be present or willing to allow you to move forward with this goal. Whatever your family law goal may be, you have the right to seek a full understanding of your rights and the choices available to you.

What you need to know about this type of adoption

In many cases, it may not be as difficult to adopt the biological children of your spouse as it can be with other types of adoption. However, if this is your ultimate goal, it can be beneficial for you to understand the following about stepparent adoption:

  • Consent of the other biological parent is necessary to complete the stepparent adoption process.
  • Getting consent from the other parent can be difficult because, ultimately, that parent is relinquishing his or her parental rights.
  • If the other parent is not present, abandoned the child or had abuse or addiction problems, you may be able to have the court terminate the rights of the other biological parent.

If the other parent does not give his or her consent, you will have to prove that there are grounds to terminate the other parent’s rights. You will need to provide evidence of physical or financial abandonment, abuse, neglect or other severe issues that could compromise the best interests of the child.

Accomplishing the goals of your family

Family law issues can be complex and stressful, even in matters that are seemingly straightforward. Perhaps you, your spouse and your stepkids want to move forward with the adoption process, but it is still useful to seek legal help as you pursue a reasonable and beneficial outcome to your case.

Adoption is a positive step for many families, but it is prudent to move forward only after a full understanding of your rights and the legal options that you have.

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