How does a Westlake Village stepparent adoption work?
It is commendable when a stepparent enters a child’s life and actively works to help. If you want to make being a parent official in the eye of the state, you will need to go through the stepparent adoption process. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we are ready to help.
Should there be no second parent with current parental rights, a stepparent can file for adoption as long as the filing is completed within 3 months of the child’s birth. The adoption may take place immediately or at a later time and be a streamlined process.
The first step is to get the consent of the other parent in the case or to work through the court to have the parent’s rights terminated. In California, a child is only allowed to have two legal parents, which is why the other parent’s rights must first be terminated.
In some cases, the other parent may willingly give up their parental rights to the child. However, there may be cases when the other parent refuses to do so. Generally, they have the right to refuse the give up their parental rights, though there are certain circumstances in which you could work through the court to terminate the rights. This could include if:
- The other parent abandoned their child, meaning they have not provided any financial support or been in contact with their child).
- The parent is unfit due to addiction, neglect, abuse, or mental illness.
- A previous paternity assumption was incorrect (may require a paternity test).
Stepparent adoption is easier than traditional adoption, but there are still difficulties that can arise. That is why your Westlake Village stepparent adoption attorney will work to ensure all paperwork is filled out completely and correctly. They will also help you prepare for any home visits and investigations in the case. The California Department of Social Services will be handling all investigations and home visits. Your attorney will represent you at the adoption hearing.
A home study is a critical aspect of the adoption process to assure that the child will be moving into a safe and loving environment. An approved report must include the results of State and Federal criminal history records of the adoptive parents as well as each adult residing in the adoptive home. Background checks for a history of child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence are to be included in the report too.
The adoption must be filed with the court and additional pleadings to be filed can include a Consent or Affidavit of Birth Mother, Consent or Affidavit of Birth Father, Affidavit of Circumstances Surrounding Placement of Child, and Affidavit of Costs and Expenses Incurred for the Adoption. Field pleadings are not limited to these and can involve an expansive list.
Once you gain parental rights, you will be responsible for that child’s care, even in the event you separate from or divorce the child’s biological parent.
Ronald Stitch attorneys are at your service every step of the way. We can help you in a variety of ways that include:
- Representation at court hearings
- Communicating with adoption agencies on your behalf
- Arranging proper immigration for international adoption
- Negotiating fair terms with biological parents while preparing and reviewing adoption agreements during a private adoption
We are ready to help you through this
There may be difficult circumstances surrounding a stepparent so leave the legalities to the attorneys of the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch. Adopting a stepchild may be one of, if not the most important process you are a part of, and having an attorney on your side is invaluable. We will provide you with an experienced attorney to handle and guide you through the legal process.
Stepparent adoption involves obtaining consent from the biological parent and we negotiate with that parent on your behalf. We also assist you in situations where that parent cannot be located.
If you are a stepparent, our thanks go out to you. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we know that stepparents play a valuable role in a child’s life. Unfortunately, the process of establishing parental rights can be difficult. Our Westlake Village stepparent adoption attorneys fully understand the process involved and are ready to help ensure you are treated fairly. Our goal is to help establish happy families that protect children. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.