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Adopting a Stepchild  

As second marriages become more frequent so do instances where stepchildren enter the lives of new families. For some children who have stepparents, they will continue to have the involvement of both biological parents. In other instances the children will live with one parent and their new spouse but not have a relationship with their other biological parent. If one of the parents is not involved in the life of the child and the parental caregiver of the child remarries, that new spouse will oftentimes express a desire to adopt their stepchild as their own.

Instances When Adopting a Stepchild is Possible

There are specific instances where a stepparent is able to adopt a stepchild as their own. In one case in which the stepparent can adopt is when the other biological parent is deceased and therefore cannot object to the adoption process. An additional instance where adoption is possible exists when the other biological parent gives consent to the adoption and relinquishes parental rights over the child.

Procedure for Adopting a Stepchild

Every state will have their own particular procedure when it comes to adopting a stepchild. Therefore, it is best to check with your local courthouse regarding the steps to take in order to make the adoption process a viable one. In general, there are a few steps which the prospective adoptive parent will need to take in order to adopt a stepchild.

The first step is to contact the local courthouse regarding adoption paperwork and procedure. Once this has been done, the interested party should contact a family law attorney who specializes in adoption in the area. Some states and counties do not require the assistance of an attorney to go through the adoption process. However an attorney can help speed up the process. The paperwork must then be filled out and filed with the court who will then schedule a hearing on the matter.

Once the adoptive parent has been notified by the court, they will then have to attend an adoption hearing with their attorney. At the hearing the judge will set a final date for the adoption process to be complete. When the date of the final hearing arrives the parent will attend and receive completed adoption paperwork and certificates. After the adoption is final the new adoptive parent will be able to get an amended birth certificate with their name on it as the parent of the child.

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