There are many children who are raised by a stepparent with whom they share a parent-child relationship. The stepparent may wish to become the child’s legal parent. Before a stepparent adoption can be granted, the parental rights of the child’s birth parent who is not the stepparent’s spouse must be terminated. Some parents will consent to the termination of their parental rights, while others will refuse to do so. When a parent does not have a relationship with the child and has failed to fulfill his or her parental responsibilities for the care and support of the child, a court can terminate the parent’s rights, allowing the stepparent to adopt the child. Conversely, courts generally will not terminate the parental rights of a parent who is providing financial support for a child and is participating in the child’s life in a meaningful way. The parental rights of the stepparent’s spouse (the child’s biological parent) remain intact.
Second-parent adoption is the adoption by a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child. Through second-parent adoption, a same sex partner can adopt the child of the other partner. As in a stepparent adoption, a second parent adoption does not terminate the parental rights of the original parent.
Stepparent and second-parent adoptions assure stability and permanency for the child and secure inheritance rights through the stepparent.
My firm can help you with both stepparent adoptions and second-parent adoptions. Contact my firm to learn more.