There are many ways to be a parent to a child, even if a child is not yours biologically. Stepparents can provide loving homes and guidance for a child. They provide love and continual support. However, they do not necessarily have the same rights as a biological parent. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we want to help you adopt your stepchild. Our Westlake Village stepparent adoption attorneys understand how this works and we are ready to stand by your side.
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.
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.
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.
We are ready to help you through this
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.