Though many people envision hopeful parents-to-be adopting their new bundle of joy from their birth family, step-parent adoption is actually a highly common practice. Our Salt Lake City adoption lawyers are proud to help families like yours!
Generally speaking, step-parent adoptions occur when the parent with custody remarries and the other birth parent is not participating in raising the child. A step-parent that plays a pivotal part in the child’s upbringing may want to adopt the child officially. Once this occurs, the step-parent shares in the same legal responsibilities and rights as a parent.
Most of the time, the process will begin when the step-parent files a petition to adopt the child. For such an adoption to go through, the parental rights of the other biological parent must be severed. If this parent agrees, these rights can be severed quite easily; a parent may do this to keep from paying child support in the future, for example, though child support due prior to the termination will remain due.
If the petitioning family does not receive full cooperation from the biological parent, they may petition the courts to end their parental rights. The courts may be able to do this in cases of abuse or abandonment. When these rights are taken away, the parent loses the right to visitation and any decision-making in the child’s life. Following the petition and subsequent termination of rights, an investigation of the home may take place, and lastly a final appearance in court during which adoption may be granted.
At Enderton & Mathews, LLC, our Salt Lake City family law attorneys have years of experience in dealing with this process. It can be fraught with difficulty and stress, and having access to a highly skilled and determined law firm can make all the difference in your case. We seek to learn about you and your family to determine how best we can serve your unique needs.
Call us today at (801) 701-8644 to speak to an attorney about how we can help your family begin the adoption process.