why you need an attorney during a divorce

why you need an attorney during a divorce

Are You A Step Parent? Tips For Adopting Your Partner's Children

by Diana Butler

If you have married someone and they already have children this can take time to get used to. This is especially true if you have never had children in your life. If you, however, completely fall in love with the children you may be able to adopt them to make you their legal parent. Below is some information about this to help you get started.

Consent from Biological Parent

Before you can proceed with the adoption, you must have consent from the children's biological parent if the parent is alive or they have a current relationship with the children. If the biological parents legally relinquished their rights to their children you will not have to get consent from them. If the parent refuses to give up their rights, the only way you can proceed with this is to prove things like:

  • Unfit parent: If the biological parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs, mentally ill, abusive, neglectful, fails to visit the children regularly, or currently incarcerated, you would have a very good chance of having the adoption approved.
  • Abandoned the children: Depending on the state you live in, if the biological parent has not seen their children for a specific length of them, the court may consider that they have abandoned their children.
  • Failure to support: If the parent has to pay child support not paying this support could result in involuntary termination of the parent's rights to their children. This does depend on the state that you live in, however.

Things to Consider

If the adoption is approved, you agree that you will financially support the children even if the biological parent passes away or abandons the children. You also have to start the process by filling out the proper paperwork.

It may also depend on the age of the child. For example, in some states when a child is at a certain age they may have to give consent in writing that they want you to adopt them. The judge will likely take this very serious.

The court will run a background check on you before you can proceed with the adoption process. The Department of Human Resources will likely look over the adoption to help them decide if this would be in the best interest of the children.

You should contact a family attorney that is experienced in step parent law. They can help you get the process started by making sure you fill out the right paperwork, as well as walk you through the entire process. The chances of the adoption being approved will be much better if you have an attorney on your side.


About Me

why you need an attorney during a divorce

My daughter and her former husband went through some very tough years. They tried everything to make their marriage work, but it just wasn't going to work out. When she came to me for advice about what to do, I sent her on to a divorce attorney. I explained to her how important it is to have a legal professional working with you from the very start of a divorce. If you are preparing to file for a divorce, or are currently going through one, go to my site. There, you will learn several reasons why you should have an attorney representing you through the process.