Towson Stepparent Adoption Lawyer
When the parents of a child get a divorce, or were never married, there is a high possibility that one will get married in the future. Once they do, the non-biological parent will likely form a close relationship and bond with the child. Still, regardless of how close the relationship is between a stepparent and a child, the stepparent will not have the same rights as the biological parents. To remedy this and give stepparents the same legal rights, many consider legally adopting the stepchild. The process, though, is complicated, so it is always recommended that you work with a Towson stepparent adoption lawyer who can help you through it.
Stepparent Adoptions are Usually Easier
Obtaining a stepparent adoption is easier in many ways than when two non-biological parents want to adopt a child. This is largely because stepparents are often already married to one of the biological parents, and they usually already live with the child. Due to this, multiple home visits are not usually necessary as they are when the parents wanting to adopt are not biologically related to the child. Stepparent adoptions also do not have the same waiting periods imposed on them as other types of adoptions.
To adopt a stepchild, stepparents must petition the court. If the court approves the petition, the stepparent will have the same rights and responsibilities as the biological parent. In order for this to happen, the parental rights of the other biological parent are terminated once the stepparent adoption is final. This step can make a stepparent adoption more complicated.
Stepparent Adoptions and Parental Rights
Due to the fact that a stepparent adoption will terminate the rights of one parent, stepparents are expected to obtain consent from the parent who will have their rights terminated, if they are still alive. Biological parents do not usually want to feel as though they are going to be replaced and so, these situations can quickly become very emotional. Biological parents also do not always want to give up their right to see the child, or make important decisions on their behalf.
When a biological parent does not consent to a stepparent adoption, you still have legal options. These include:
- Showing that the biological parent has abandoned a child by proving that they refused to contact the child, nurture a bond and special relationship with the child, or exercise their parental duties, or
- Establishing that a biological father does not meet the requirements to legally be considered a ‘presumed father.’ This option is available when the biological parents never got married, the father’s name does not appear on the birth certificate, or the father has never tried to establish paternity.
Call Our Stepparent Adoption Lawyer in Towson for a Consultation
If you have a stepchild you want to adopt, the process can be a complex and challenging one. At Lebovitz Law, our Towson stepparent adoption lawyer can help you overcome the challenges you will face so you have the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us now at (410) 657-6494 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.