Stepparent Adoptions Are Common, But Still Require Legal Guidance
Many families are formed or added to when extended family members or stepparents adopt. In some cases, adoption can be confusing and challenging. If you’ve chosen to pursue kinship, stepparent or same-sex adoption, you will need a lawyer to help you through the technical details.
I know that preparing to adopt a family member or a stepchild can generate many tough questions. Some adoptive parents wonder who has the right to file. Others may need to know how they can change their child’s name. At The Law Office of Rebecca J. Talmud, I will answer your questions and lead you through the process.
I have more than 10 years of experience in family law and represent individuals throughout the Greater Buffalo-Niagara region.
Understanding Stepparent Adoption
The adoption of a stepchild is the most common type of adoption in New York. After the adoption becomes final, the stepparent is now the child’s legal parent. The process, which is called “stepparent adoption” or “relative adoption,” can be simpler than other forms of adoption. However, it is still important to have legal representation. This is especially true when getting a birth parent’s consent.
A stepparent adoption requires the child’s other birth parent to forfeit his or her parental rights. Refusal may prevent the stepparent adoption from being approved. There may be reason to challenge a birth parent’s refusal to forfeit parental rights if that parent abandoned the child, has not supported the child financially for an extended period, or is unfit to fulfill a parenting role.
Protecting Birth Parents’ Rights
Couples that seek a stepparent adoption have a lot of questions. A birth parent who is being asked to give up his or her parental rights has questions, too. As an experienced adoption attorney, I routinely advise birth parents on their rights regarding stepparent adoptions. No matter which side of the adoption you are on, I will represent you.