Sacramento, CA Step Parent Adoption Lawyers
Families in California come in many different shapes and sizes. When couples with children divorce and remarry, a stepparent may play a significant role in the life of a child. While not every stepparent adopts a stepchild, many want to take on the full parental role. If you are a step parent and are considering adopting your stepchild, contact an experienced step parent adoption attorney in Sacramento, CA for help with the legal steps involved in the adoption process.
At Boyd Law, our Sacramento, CA family lawyers have extensive experience and knowledge about how to properly handle step parent adoption cases in the state of California. know adopting under any circumstance is an exciting and important time in the life of both the child and the parent. If you’ve been thinking about making your role as a parent legal, we are ready to help you begin the adoption process in Sacramento.
Understanding Stepparent Adoption
Adoptions are often emotional and completely change the role a stepparent plays in a child’s life. While courts can reverse an adoption in extreme circumstances, most are permanent. You should never make the decision to become someone’s legal parent lightly.
Any child 12 or older must consent to the adoption for a judge to finalize the proceedings. The biological parent who does not have primary child custody must either agree to the adoption or qualify as an unfit parent. An unfit parent is someone who cannot fulfill the standards of a normal parent for some reason (e.g. abuse, mental illness, abandonment, or criminal history). When a stepparent takes on the role as a legally recognized parent, the noncustodial parent will lose most of his or her parental rights.
Unless the child was born during your marriage, you will also need to submit to an interview and investigation. The investigator may be a licensed therapist, a court investigator, or a social worker. You will need to submit certain documents and attend an interview. The investigator will do a background check and verify your employment and ask for three non-relative references. If the investigator approves this information, he or she will recommend the adoption to the court.
Once the conditions of the court are satisfied, the stepparent and the child will need to attend an adoption hearing. After that, the state will end the parenting rights of the noncustodial biological parent and approve the adoption. An adoptive parent has the same rights and responsibility as a biological parent.
Emotional Issues to Consider Before Adoption
A stepparent adoption will forever change family dynamics. The adopted child may experience a range of emotions during the transition, particularly if his or her biological parent is still in the picture. The adoption can also affect other children in the family. Parents should work through the emotional challenges faced by each child before and during a stepparent adoption.
If the stepparent does not have a valid, objective reason for wanting to become a child’s legally recognized parent, adoption may not be the right answer. If a stepparent who has adopted a child subsequently divorces the child’s biological parent, he or she has the same rights as a biological parent. A mother or father can petition the court for sole or joint custody and may have to pay child support during and after the divorce.
Help From Sacramento, CA Step Parent Adoption Attorney
Adoption requires careful planning and consideration. At Boyd Law our Sacramento step parent adoption attorneys help our clients review all of the factors that may impact a stepparent adoption. Our goal is to provide you with the impartial information needed to make the right decision for your situation. Our team of attorneys at the Boyd Law office in Sacramento, CA have significant experience in helping families of all kinds work through adoption proceedings.
Once you make the decision to adopt, our experienced step parent adoption lawyers in Sacramento, CA will help you with every step of the process, from obtaining the consent of the noncustodial biological parent to sitting down with a court investigator. When you are ready to talk about adoption, contact our team of dedicated adoption attorneys in Sacramento.