One of the most common types of adoption occurs when a stepparent wishes to adopt a stepchild. The modern family unit is often a mixture of stepchildren that come together to form a new type of family. The law allows stepparent adoptions so that families can create a legally bound cohesive group that will give children more support.
This is like a typical child adoption, except that both biological parents must consent to the process. In some circumstances, one parent has been absent from the child’s life, and the stepparent has already been acting as a parent. The adoption process allows the stepparent to be considered a natural parent under the law. Adoption attorneys will be available to give you the necessary details about what to expect with a stepparent adoption.
The adoption process for stepparents is typically less difficult than other kinds of adoptions. The basic requirement to begin the adoption process is that the biological parent and stepparent must be married for a period of at least six months.
In order for a stepparent adoption to occur, the non-custodial biological parent must consent to terminate his or her parental rights. In some instances, you may not know where the parent lives or have any contact with him or her. In these cases, the adoption process can be slightly more difficult. A Wilmington, North Carolina adoption lawyer will review the situation and advise you as to what options are available. In most cases, search methods can be utilized to locate the missing parent, even if they reside out of state.
Regardless of whether the non-custodial parent has been involved in a child’s life, he or she does still have parental rights. A biological parent must receive and respond to the notice that an adoption is requested.
As part of the adoption, the biological parent gives up his or her rights as well as responsibilities. This also means the parent will no longer be required to pay child support after the adoption is completed. However, if the parent owes back child support, he or she will still be obligated to make those payments. An adoption does not void the payment of support that has already accumulated before the adoption takes place.
Stepparent adoptions typically do not require an appearance in front of a judge as long as the legal requirements have been met. Your adoption lawyer in Wilmington, NC will review your case and help make sure that you follow the proper procedures.
Although stepparent adoptions are less complicated than private adoptions, they still require legal action that should be reviewed by an adoption attorney so that you can ensure you understand all the ramifications that are part of a stepparent adoption.