Adoption is the process of legally establishing yourself as a child’s parent, although you are not biologically related to them. When two adults marry and one adult has a child from a past relationship, many people elect to adopt their spouse’s child as their own. Arizona Family Law Attorneys believe step-parent adoption is a beautiful and life-changing decision. It’s one of the most impactful and compassionate decisions an adult can make. Our team believes the process should be effortless, so you can focus on your family.
Where Should I Begin if I Want to Adopt My Step-Child?
First and foremost, consult with a lawyer. The adoption process is often lengthy, with many taking as long as a year to finalize. An experienced lawyer at Arizona Family Law Attorneys can provide legal counsel and support to guide prospective parents through the adoption process. Arizona Family Law Attorneys have mediated stressful and legally complex adoption situations. Attempting to adopt a child without consulting with a lawyer can end with an unjust conclusion. When a child’s life is involved, it’s incredibly important to be sure you’re correctly following procedures. The consequences could be costly.
The adoption of a stepchild has different factors than a traditional adoption case. After consulting with a lawyer, often the next step is legally requiring the child’s biological parent to relinquish their parental rights. Every stepchild adoption case is different, but in many cases, both of the child’s biological parents must give their consent to the adoption.
Once the biological parent has consented to the adoption, the child that’s being adopted (the adoptee) may also need to give their consent to the adoption. This depends on the age of the adoptee. Every state has different laws regarding the role of the child in the adoption process, so consult a lawyer early on to cover all your bases.
What Documentation is Needed for a Step-Parent Adoption?
With consent established, next your adoption lawyer will compile and submit all necessary documentation. This documentation includes the child’s birth certificate, written documentation of the biological parent’s consent, and other important forms. A consult with a lawyer handling family law, can help compile and submit what’s necessary.
After providing necessary documentation, you must appear before a judge in court. You will undergo a hearing before the adoption process is finalized. When the adoption of your stepchild is finally complete, you will receive an amended birth certificate for your adopted child.
Is a Step-Parent Adoption a Difficult Process?
Phoenix family law attorneys are uniquely trained to manage the affairs between step-parents and their prospective adoptees. Adopting your stepchild is a beautiful gesture and should be a rewarding experience that paves the way for a bright future as a new family. Arizona Family Law Attorneys will assess your individual case and make sure the adoption process is executed thoroughly and efficiently. When you work with our team in Maricopa County or elsewhere in the state of Arizona, you’ll be educated on every step of the adoption. When you choose to work with us, you’re choosing a team of attorneys with not only legal experience, but a demonstrated history of client success. To us, success means more happy children and happy families.