If a parent is absent from a child’s life, a stepparent may consider adopting their stepchild. Adopting a stepchild can be a rewarding experience but it is important to have skilled legal counsel navigate you through the adoption process. Every family is different and complex issues can arise. We are sensitive to your individual needs in your case.
A stepparent adoption requires that the biological parent consent to the adoption. Attorney Mehaffie can negotiate with the other parent on your behalf. If the biological parent is willing to consent to the adoption, we will make sure that proper consent is acquired.
If the biological parent will not consent, a petition to involuntarily terminate the biological parent’s rights must be filed with the court. Termination of parental rights requires that grounds are established. For example, if a parent has had no contact with the child for a period of 6 months or more, the custodial parent can petition the court to terminate the parental rights of the biological parent and file an adoption petition requesting that the stepparent be permitted to adopt the stepchild. We help identify proper grounds in each case for termination of parental rights, develop the facts and present your case to a judge when the other parent contests termination of their rights.
We can help guide you through the stepparent adoption. We can help you understand financial and medical obligations throughout the adoption process. If the biological parent’s rights are terminated and the adoption proceeds, we help change the child’s name and acquire a new birth certificate and social security card.