According to the California courts, stepparent adoption is by far the most common form of adoption today.
There are several reasons this type of adoption takes place, including divorce, ongoing absence of the other birth parent and/or the child’s desire to take on the stepparent’s last name.
It might seem like a simple matter, especially if the child is old enough to state their own desire to be adopted by the stepparent, but adoption is almost always a complicated procedure.
It is important when considering such an important decision that you look to an experienced Rancho Cucamonga Stepparent Adoption Lawyer for assistance.
It might seem obvious that a stepparent is someone who is married to the birth parent. However, this isn’t always the case. In California, marriage is not a necessary element for a person to be considered a stepparent.
Those who are considered domestic partners and may not be married are also eligible to adopt their partner’s children in California. The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock can help you determine if you meet the qualifications as a stepparent and can guide you through the adoption process.
When it comes to adoption, the California courts are primarily concerned with the best interest of the child. Even so, the benefits of adopting a child as a stepparent also apply to the stepparent.
For one thing, you no longer have to worry about medical treatment when the biological parent isn’t available, or limitations when it comes to visitation in a medical center.
There are also tax benefits and the removal of interference by an absent parent if you choose to adopt as a stepparent.
Perhaps the most valuable benefit of stepparent adoption is that the child will know you see him or her as your child, and not just as the stepchild.
A stepparent cannot adopt the child of his or her spouse if the other biological parent is a positive part of the child’s life and is unwilling to allow the adoption. They key here is that they are a positive part of the child’s life. When you petition the court for adoption, you will have to have at least sent the papers to the other biological parent. If they don’t sign them, they will need to come to court to contest the adoption. There are some exceptions to the necessity of the absent parent’s signature.
If that parent is absent from the child’s life for a year or more and no child support has been received from that parent, the court may not require their signature to process the adoption. Even if the parent has been active in the child’s life, the judge may still decide that the child is better off being adopted by the stepparent. Note that once the child is adopted, the absent parent loses all rights, including future custody, but also loses the obligation to pay child support. Laurence J. Brock can help you understand your rights and obligations when it comes to stepparent adoption.
Adoption is about more than just filing the right papers. Interviews are often required to determine if you are the best choice for adopting a child, and this child in particular.
You may not be aware of or prepared for many of the details involved until they occur or until the judge denies your request.
Since you want to make the best impression on the court, simple mistakes such as incorrectly filing papers, filing them late, or forgetting to pay associated fees isn’t going to help your image.
There may also be issues with the absent parent or other family members who want to challenge the adoption.
Your best option to ensure that your case is handled correctly from beginning to end, is to seek the assistance of a reputable Rancho Cucamonga Stepparent Adoption Lawyer.
If you are considering or in the process of adopting as a stepparent, or even if you need assistance contesting an adoption, it’s crucial that you don’t attempt to handle this on your own. An experienced Rancho Cucamonga Stepparent Adoption Lawyer can help.
Contact our office online or call us at (909) 466-7661 to schedule an appointment so we can assist you with your options and ensure your best interests, as well as any children involved, are considered.