Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
We speak English & Mandarin

Guiding You Toward A Better Future

San Jose Divorce Attorney > San Jose Stepparent Adoption Attorney

San Jose Stepparent Adoption Attorney

Adopting Your Spouse’s Children Benefits Them, You and the Whole Family

Being a stepparent presents many challenges as you work to mold your blended family into a cohesive unit. Adopting your stepchildren is an important legal step toward solidifying your parental rights, and it can also strengthen the emotional bonds between the family members. When you are considering adopting your stepchildren, you should talk with an experienced San Jose adoption attorney. Foster Hsu, LLP, can help you understand what happens when you adopt stepchildren and what you need to do to accomplish your goal of adoption.

Stepparents often form close relationships with stepchildren, especially if they are in the child’s life at a young age. However, stepparents do not have any legal rights over a stepchild unless they legally adopt them. Stepparent adoption is a legal process that allows the stepparent to be a legal parent to their spouse’s children. It eases the transition when two families combine and helps provide stability.

However, stepparent adoption can sometimes be challenging. You want the help of an experienced lawyer. Seek legal help from a knowledgeable San Jose stepparent adoption attorney from Foster Hsu, LLP to learn more about the process.

What to Know About Stepparent Adoptions

The process for adopting a stepchild is not always straightforward. Here are some things you need to know.

Both biological parents need to consent to the adoption. Therefore, to adopt a stepchild, you must obtain consent from the child’s other parent.

If the parent is pretty much absent from the child’s life, they may agree to the adoption. If the parent does not consent, you may be able to request that the court terminate their parental rights due to abandonment. Ultimately, the decision to allow the adoption to proceed will rest on the best interests of the children. This can be a contentious part of the adoption process, but once you have consent or termination of parental rights, the rest of the stepparent adoption process is easier.

How long it takes for the adoption process will depend on the circumstances. If the stepparent adoption is uncontested, it can be accomplished in less than six months. If you cannot get consent, the case may take a year or longer.

If you want to adopt a stepchild who is 18 or over, you can do so through the adult adoption process. The adult adoption process allows you to adopt any adult, whether or not you are related. However, you cannot adopt more than one unrelated adult and you must be older than the adult who you want to adopt.

Once you get consent from the other parent, you can proceed by filling out the appropriate forms and submitting them. There may also be a home visit by the Department of Social Services. They will interview both the stepparent and child.

The final step will be an adoption hearing in court. The stepparent, the custodial parent, and the child must all attend.

What Does Stepparent Adoption Accomplish for the Family?

Adopting your spouse’s kids from a previous relationship can have practical and emotional benefits for the family. You’ll strengthen the family unit and the bonds between you and your children, giving them your name as well as legal recognition as your kids. Children are entitled to financial support from their adoptive parents, even after a divorce. Your children will have the right to health insurance through your employer, as well as the right to inherit from you. They’ll also be beneficiaries of government benefits you may receive, such as veterans’ benefits or Social Security.

What if the Child’s Biological Father Objects to the Adoption?

Even if you are married the children’s parent, the other biological parent still retains his or her parental rights. In order to adopt the children, the other biological parent would need to either voluntarily relinquish his or her parental rights, or the Court will need to terminate those rights. Once parental rights have been relinquished or terminated, the other biological parent no longer has any rights to custody or visitation with the children or an obligation to provide financial support.

If the other biological parent objects to the termination of his or her parental rights, a hearing must take place for the Court to determine whether or not termination of parental rights is in the children’s best interest. If you are considering stepparent adoption, contact our office to discuss the next steps and how to build a case and move forward with the adoption.

Contact Foster Hsu, LLP Today

If you are close with your spouse’s child and want to strengthen that bond, you may want to consider stepparent adoption. There are many good reasons to choose adoption. The process can be complicated, though, as there are requirements that need to be met.

Have questions? Foster Hsu, LLP is here to help you understand the process and make sure you accomplish your goals. To schedule a consultation, contact a San Jose stepparent adoption attorney today. Call 408-841-7200 or fill out the online form.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2020 - 2024 Foster Hsu, LLP. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are
managed by MileMark Media.