Being a parent is a wonderful experience for most people, but parenting does not look the same for everyone. Stepparents are a major part of our society. In many cases, stepparents play a vital role in a child’s life. Stepparents provide love and support for children, but they do not necessarily have the same rights as a birth parent does. However, stepparents can make the choice to adopt their stepchildren. When you need a Simi Valley stepparent adoption attorney, you can count on the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch to be by your side.
The Simi Valley stepparent adoption process
If you have made the choice to solidify your role in your stepchild’s life, you need to understand how the process works in California. The first step will be to get the consent of the other parent or get that person’s parental right terminated.
- Children in California can only have two legal parents. That is why the other parent is required to completely give up their legal rights to their child.
If the other parent is willing to give up their legal rights, the process will go by more smoothly. However, that is not always the case.
If the other parent refuses to give their consent, you will have to take a different route. This is where an experienced Simi Valley stepparent adoption lawyer will really be able to help you. By working with your spouse and your attorney, you can work to terminate the other birth parent’s rights by showing:
- They have abandoned the child (have not provided any financial support or been in contact with them).
- They are an unfit parent due to mental illness, addiction, or a history of neglect and abuse.
- That the previous paternity assumption was not correct.
Stepparent adoption is easier than traditional adoptions, but that does not mean it is without hurdles. The child’s other parent could put up a fight in the court. Do not let that deter you from the joy of being able to call your stepchild your child.
Your attorney will work to ensure that all required paperwork is filled out correctly and completely. Your attorney will help you prepare for a home visit and any investigations and will represent you at the adoption hearing.
- The California Department of Social Services will handle the home visit and investigation.
We are ready to get to work
If you are a stepparent and are considering adopting your stepchild, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we want to make sure this process goes as smoothly as possible for you. There are many issues to consider and take care of that will require working through the family court system. Our family law specialists will ensure everything is done correctly. If you need a Simi Valley stepparent adoption lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.