3 Steps in a Step-Parent Adoption

Step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption in Arizona. In most cases, these adoptions happen after one parent remarries and brings children with them to form a larger, new family. As the family bond grows, many step-parents feel the drive to make the bond official by adopting their new stepchildren. Step-parent adoptions can be a very straightforward process, although they can become complicated if the other parent does not consent. Our experienced family law attorney in Scottsdale can help you determine the best next step to take for you and your case. Here are the steps involved in this type of adoption in Scottsdale, Arizona:

#1. Acquiring Consent to AdoptĀ step parent adoption
Both biological parents of the child must consent to the child’s adoption by the step-parent. The parent who is not in the relationship must relinquish his or her parental rights before the process can go forward. This requires filling out a Consent to Adopt form.

This step may be the hardest part of the process. A parent who has an active relationship with their child will not give up their parental rights. There are cases in which the other parent is not involved with the child or will be willing to sign the consent form.

#2. Petition for Terminating Parental Rights
It may be possible to file a Petition for Terminating Parental Rights if the other parent does not consent to the adoption. This step is only appropriate when there is a serious problem that interferes with a healthy relationship between the parent and the child. Common examples include a chronic drug or alcohol problem, sexual or physical abuse of the child, psychological abuse, or child abandonment.

#3. Petition to Adopt
The final step is filing the Petition to Adopt paperwork. A family law attorney in Scottsdale may help your adoption move forward quickly if the step-parent and the biological parent have been married for more than one year and both biological parents grant consent.

It’s usually recommended that you work with a family law attorney as the adoption process can be complex and difficult to navigate. A family law attorney in Scottsdale can guide you through the process and help you avoid mistakes that can delay the adoption. Contact The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman today to discuss your case.