Stepparent Adoptions

Stepparent Adoption Attorney in Orange County

OC Custody Lawyer Helping Families Come Together Since 1981

At The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague, we have been helping families come together through stepparent adoptions since 1981. If you are seeking a stepparent adoption, we would be glad to explain your rights and responsibilities and guide you through this rewarding journey.

While child custody issues can be an emotionally difficult part of divorce, stepparent adoptions are a joyous aspect of family law that unites families, making them complete.

Consent from the Other Parent

In a stepparent adoption, you will need the other child's parent to consent to the adoption. Since this is a key requirement, it is important to engage an Orange County divorce attorney to guide you through this legal process.

It may or may not be difficult to get consent from the other birth parent. Giving consent to the adoption means giving up parental rights, including rights to visitation and making decisions about the child's education or medical treatment.

Understanding the Emotional Issues

Stepparent adoptions can be more complicated when the noncustodial parent is still in contact with their child. While there may be no legal reason why the adoption cannot move forward, the emotional impact will need to be considered.

In contrast, some parents that have been out of the picture willingly consent to a stepparent adoption because they will no longer be responsible for child support once their parental rights are terminated.

If the other birth parent refuses to agree to the adoption, you may still be able to adopt if:

  • The other parent has abandoned the child for a year and not paid any child support, or seen or spoken to the child.
  • You properly serve the other birth parent with the Adoption Request. The other birth parent will have to appear on the court date provided on the request and object to the adoption.
  • The judge decides to grant the adoption because it would be in the best interests of the child.

If the child is 12 or older, he or she must agree to the adoption before the judge can order the adoption final; however, children under 12 do not have to agree.

Contact Our Orange County Divorce Firm to Discuss Your Adoption Case

At The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague, we understand why some of our clients would want to adopt a stepchild and make their family complete in the eyes of the law. Adopting a stepchild is a big responsibility, and perhaps the best way to demonstrate one's love and devotion to their spouse, their spouse's child, and their family as a whole.

If you are considering a stepparent adoption, we would love to tell you more about the process. Contact our Orange County child custody lawyer to schedule a free consultation with an attorney!

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