For many, being a parent is an extremely fulfilling life experience. Stepparents take on a unique role, providing a loving home for their partner's children. If you are thinking of making this parenting relationship legally official, seek out an experienced family lawyer to guide you.
For guidance on stepparent adoption in Ventura County, look no further than the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch. As a certified family law specialist, I have dedicated a significant portion of my career to helping families in Thousand Oaks and the surrounding counties.
The Stepparent Adoption Process
The first major step in adopting your stepchildren is either getting consent from their other parent or terminating that person's parental rights. Children can only have two legal parents, so the other birth parent is required to completely give up their legal rights over their child in order for the child to be adopted. This can be a difficult process if your stepchild's birth parent resists the adoption.
If they refuse to give their consent, there are other ways to clear the path for you to adopt. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, you can terminate a birth parent's rights if you can prove:
- They are an unfit parent due to mental illness, addiction, neglect or history of abuse.
- They have abandoned the child, meaning they have not provided financial support or been in contact.
- A previous presumption of paternity was incorrect.
Although in many ways stepparent adoption is easier than other adoptions, these hurdles can cause a significant amount of stress and confusion. Let my firm relieve some of this stress by putting my 35 years of experience to work for you.
Need Adoption Advice? Contact A Certified Family Law Specialist.
Taking on the role of a parent in a child's life is an admirable thing. To learn more about how to get started in the stepparent adoption process, call our offices in Westlake Village, California and schedule a free consultation. You can also request an appointment online.