Adopting a stepchild is typically less difficult than regular adoption; however, obtaining the help of a family law attorney is still crucial to ensure that all of the proper actions are taken. Here are a few things to consider before following through with adopting a stepchild.
Weighing the Situation
Through adoption, the adoptive parent becomes a legal parent of the child or children, meaning that this person assumes all responsibilities and rights of this position. If an adoptive parent divorces their adoptive child’s biological parent, they still remain responsible for the child.
One of the first steps to take involves obtaining consent from both of the child’s biological parents because the law requires termination of rights of one or both biological parents. Sometimes, a birth parent’s rights may have already been terminated due to neglect, serious criminal conduct or some other form of parental misbehavior. If this is the case, no further consent is necessary.
Assemble documents to proceed. These documents include a birth certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate of a deceased biological parent. There are many documents which the court requires before they will schedule a hearing date. They also require F.B.I. and NJ State Police background checks and fingerprints for all adults living the home.
An attorney can be of assistance to help manage the process.
Thanks to Stephen Hochhaus for the image used in this post.