On behalf of Sparkman Law Firm posted in adoption on Thursday, May 26, 2016.
Are you one of the many Florida residents who is now married but have a child or children from an earlier marriage or relationship? Perhaps you are married to someone who has a child from a prior relationship or marriage. In either of these situations, one spouse may be wishing to formally and legally adopt the biological child of the other.
The adoption of a stepchild can be a beautiful way of loving a spouse as well as a child. It can bring a sense of unity and family to a blended family that offers many benefits to the adults and the children involved. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, stepparent adoptions are the common type of adoption that takes place in the U.S. today. While the exact process for adopting a stepchild can vary from state to state, there are some elements common across the board.
In general, you can expect the adoption of a stepchild to follow a somewhat simpler process than any other type of adoption. Some requirements such as those for home visits, for example, may be different or waived altogether. What must generally happen is that both biological parents must consent to the adoption. It may be possible to waive this requirement in instances of abandonment or other unique circumstances. Depending upon the age of the child, consent from the child may also be required or appropriate. Once finalized, a new birth certificate will be issued reflecting the new parentage.
If you would like to learn more about the process of adopting a stepchild, please feel free to visit the stepparent-stepchild relationship page of our Arizona family law website.