Step Parent Adoption

The most common form of adoption is by a step-parent who assumes financial and legal responsibility for his/her spouse’s child(ren), and the non-custodial parent is released from all parenting responsibilities. Procedures are generally simpler than for other types of adoption, however, stepparent adoption law varies from state to state. State stepparent adoption laws address issues such as consents from the non-custodial parent, how long the stepparent and biological parent must be married before an adoption petition can be filed, whether or not a home study is required, and other requirements.

Adoption is the process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child’s biological or birth parent. The most common form of adoption is by a stepparent who assumes financial and legal responsibility for his/her spouse’s child(ren), and the non-custodial parent is released from all parenting responsibilities. Procedures are generally simpler than for other types of adoptions but it varies from state to state. In California, you must first begin the process by completing forms and taking the original and two copies to the Superior Court in your county. You have to pay a filing fee for each child you want to adopt.

The next step is to get consent from the biological parent who is giving up custody of the child. If the other parent doesn’t want to sign a consent form, Termination of Parental Rights might be an option. Once an adoption request has been filed, the court’s Probate Court Services Department will be notified and the investigation process will begin. The investigator will interview the petitioner, the spouse or partner, and the child(ren). The investigator will check law enforcement records, child abuse registry records and will verify the petitioner’s employment.

When you submit your documents, you will receive notice in the mail of when your hearing is scheduled. If the other parent did not give up his/her rights or if the Court has not ended his/her rights, you must file a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights first before you schedule your adoption hearing. If you can’t locate the other parent and he is a presumed father, you must publish the notice in a newspaper.

Talk to an experienced attorney for help with this process. State stepparent adoption laws address issues such as consents from the non-custodial parent, how long the stepparent and biological parent must be married before an adoption petition can be filed, whether or not a home study is required and other requirements. If you feel that you may have a potential step-parent adoption case pertaining to family law please call (805) 879-7523 or click here to email us and have an attorney contact you about your case.

Drury Pullen Law
148 E Carrillo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 US
Phone: (805) 879-7523
Fax: (805) 966-0506