Colorado Springs Step-Parent Adoption
Sometimes a stepparent may decide to adopt a child who is not his or her biological child. This type of adoption is possible under certain circumstances. A stepparent adoption generally occurs where a stepparent adopts the child of a spouse. For example, if a man who has a child remarries, his new spouse might want to adopt the child. Blended families are becoming increasingly common so more families are facing this situation.
Many stepparents are very involved in a child's life, particularly if they live in the same home. As a step-parent who adopts a child, you will gain full legal custody of the child. This means that the biological parent will no longer have a financial support obligation to the child, or have a right to spend time with him. You will gain the support responsibility and the ability to participate in decision-making for the child, as well.
The biological parent must release his or her parental rights for the stepparent adoption to occur. if he or she does not, then a Court can order the release. The biological parent can consent to the adoption. If he or she does not, then the Court will have to evaluate parental fitness. A biological parent can be found unfit in situations where there has been abandonment, abuse, serious mental illness, or incarceration. The bar to remove parental rights is high as parents have a constitutional right to parent children. If the child is 12 or older, he also has to consent to the adoption. A stepparent desiring to adopt must:
- File a Petition for Adoption;
- Be 21 years of age or older;
- Pass a criminal background check; and
- Have the consent of the biological parent to avoid a contested court proceeding.
There will be an adoption hearing. The legal standard for adoption is the child's best interests, as with many other family law matters involving children. If the proceeding is contested, then you will have to present evidence that the adoption is in the child's best interests. The biological parent will have the opportunity to present evidence as well. If the Court grants the adoption, then you will receive a birth-certificate showing you as the parent. Stepchild adoption is a very important decision which comes with a great deal of responsibility. It is a life changing event which should be explored thoroughly. An attorney can assist you in stepparent adoption by handling all paperwork, coordination, negotiation, mediation and/or court proceedings.Janko Family Law - Turning Change Into Opportunity in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. The court system is more complex than it should be. We can guide you through the Colorado Springs court experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Family Law can help ensure that your best interests are protected. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.