You'll hear from many lawyers that adoption is the happiest occasion that one can have in a court room, and I heartily agree. However, the process to get to that point can be more complicated if you are seeking a stepparent adoption.
Stepparent adoption this is the number one adoption inquiry that I get. The first thing that has to happen to proceed with a stepparent adoption is for one of the biological parents rights to be terminated. If the biological parent agrees to the termination of rights, they sign a relinquishment of rights and the adoption process can proceed.
If the biological parent does NOT agree to the termination of rights, then the court will set a hearing on the issue and the stepparent will have to prove why they believe the biological parent's rights should be terminated. It can be fairly difficult to prevail on a termination without consent. A person can represent themselves at the hearing, or hire an attorney to help them. After the hearing, the court will rule on the termination. If the Court rules in the stepparent's favor, the biological parent's rights will be terminated, and the stepparent can proceed with the adoption. If not, the process ends there for the stepparent.
While it can be a difficult road to prevail in a contested stepparent adoption, it is often a worthwhile battle for the stepparent. If you want to discuss your stepparent adoption inquiry with Andrea Fox, feel free to contact us for a consultation!