Adopting your stepchild is the most common form of adoption in the United States. A stepparent who adopts his or her stepchild is agreeing to become that child’s legal parent and to be fully responsible for the child. After the adoption is completed, the absent parent will be removed from the child’s birth certificate and the adopting parent is put on the child’s birth certificate. In addition, the child’s name will be changed on the birth certificate. As far as the birth certificate is concerned, after the stepparent adoption is completed, it will appear that the stepparent was the child’s birth parent and that the child had his or her new name since the child’s birth.
The stepparent adoption process is much easier than other types of adoptions. A stepparent adoption is unique in that it is the only adoption that just substitutes one parent. Most adoptions require that the parental rights of both parents are terminated so that the child can be adopted by two new parents. In a stepparent adoption, one of the parents will remain as the child’s parent, and only one parent is adopting. If you are able to get the consent of the absent birth parent, the adoption is easier, but that person’s consent is not required in order to complete the adoption as long as that parent has abandoned the child. The definition for abandonment is different for each state, so take a look at our pages on each individual state to get more information on the specific grounds available in your state for completing the stepparent adoption without the consent of one of the parents.
If the other parent is deceased, the stepparent adoption process can be completed very easily. The Court desires that the child have two living parents, so because it is in the child’s best interest to have a willing stepparent adopt the child, the Courts will typically streamline the adoption process when one of the parents is deceased.
The step-by-step process for an adoption is fairly straight-forward, and the instructions for completing the adoption will be included with the documents that we prepare for you.
The stepparent adoption documents we prepare for you are specific for your state and county, prepared specifically for you and your individual situation. We have helped thousands of families complete their stepparent adoptions without any problems and we look forward to helping you complete your adoption.
The adoption process for most states can be completed in a matter of months. In some states, in certain situations, the adoption is completed in a matter of weeks. This isn’t typical, as the average stepparent adoption takes a few months to become final. Your stepchild will gain a sense of unity and security when the adoption is final. You decide to start the adoption process, we will help you finish it.