Adoption Rights for Step-Parents
In California, married couples and registered domestic partners may adopt their partner's child or children through the step-parent adoption process rather than through the more complex independent adoption procedure. Step-parent adoption is generally easier to complete than other kinds of adoption. Often, certain steps in the procedure may be dispensed with, such as the waiting period, a home study, and possibly even the adoption hearing.
For legal assistance with a step-parent adoption in the Los Angeles area, consult with the legal advocates at our law firm. We offer individualized and responsive attention to all our clients. As a lawyer who focuses only on family law cases, we have extensive knowledge of California family and divorce law and are extremely familiar with the court systems involved.
Understanding Your Rights
To accomplish a California step-parent adoption, the other biological parent of the child will be required to consent to the adoption. If that parent refuses to give consent, the adoption cannot be processed unless that birth parent's rights are terminated. The termination of his or her rights may be achieved if it can be shown that he or she has abandoned the child, is an unfit parent, or has failed to support the child. If the missing biological parent cannot be found, or has had no contact with the child for more than a year, then it can usually be proved that the parent has abandoned the child.
As in all cases with children, the court will consider what is in the best interests of the child. In doing so, having the emotional, financial, and social support of a parent ranks high on the list. If a missing biological parent has not provided this, then a petition for abandonment may be filed so that the step-parent adoption can go forward.