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The ins and outs of a stepparent adoption

| Jun 1, 2020 | Adoption |

Each family is unique, which is why it doe not matter how your family started or expanded. While many families in Texas begin their family through marriage and giving birth to their own children, you seek to create a family in a different matter. Adoption is a resource used by many individuals and partners; however, not all adoptions include children that are not biologically related to either parent. Now that you are remarried, you seek to formally and legally establish your new partner as the parent of your child or children.

It should be noted that the most common form of adoption is stepparent adoption, which occurs when a custodial parent remarries and seeks to terminate the parental rights of the noncustodial parent, having his or her new spouse assuming parental rights of the child or children. However, in order to move forward with this process, consent is needed. Not only must the custodial parent consent to their new spouse assuming parental rights, but the noncustodial parent must also consent.

In some cases, a noncustodial parent will simply consent to this process and have his or her parental rights terminated. However, in other cases, a noncustodial parent will not consent to this. But this does not mean there is no hope to move forward with a stepparent adoption. There are certain situations where consent is not needed. This could mean proving that a parent has abandoned the child, he or she is an unfit parent or, in the cases of male noncustodial parents, that he is not the biological parent.

Once consent is obtained, one can move forward with the process. This requires documentation that will terminate parental rights of the noncustodial parent and documentation that will provide legal and financial responsibility of the child or children in question. This process will stop any current child support orders, if any were in place.

Families evolve and change. While you believed that your family was complete with your child’s biological parent, the reality is that this is not always the case. Seeking a stepparent adoption is not only about establishing the family you have always dreamed of but also establishes a family environment that is in the best interests of your child or children. This process can get overwhelming and confusing at time, which is why it is imperative to be aware of your rights and how best to move forward with this legal process.