We believe that adoption saves a child’s life.
When a stepparent adopts a child, it is usually in the noted and willful absence of the biological parent. That biological parent has, by his or her actions, indicated to the child that the child is unwanted. The stepparent effectively says to that kid, “I choose you.”
Stepparent adoptions are the most prevalent form of adoption. Adoption provides the child with permanency and the knowledge that the child is wanted; and gives the entire family a sense of stability.
Stepparents often serve a vital role in raising and bringing up children. Many children come to regard the stepparent as a parent due to the care and love they receive, particularly if the child’s natural parent has been absent from the child’s life. An adopting stepparent is willing to assume financial and legal responsibility for his/her spouse’s child (or children).
The adoptive parent’s spouse must consent to the adoption. The parental rights of the other biological parent must be terminated for the adoption to proceed, which is a technical, legal process. The biological parent is no longer financially and legally responsible for the child once the adopting stepparent takes on this role.
Most states make the adoption process a little easier for stepparents than for other types of adoption. In California, a full home study is not required for stepparent adoptions as they are for independent adoptions. Instead, a court investigator will contact all parties to ascertain the circumstances of the request, run a criminal background check, verify employment and check references for the adopting parent. Once the investigation is completed, a report is submitted to the Court with a recommendation to either approve or not approve the adoption request. The information to be given to the court investigator should be curated by competent counsel.
The technical, legal requirements for termination of parental rights or dispensing with consent of the biological parent require good, experienced legal counsel. The adoption itself is the easiest and most rewarding part of the process.