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:
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.
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