How to Get Legally Adopted by a Stepparent in Arizona?
The United States has seen a significant increase in the number of blended families over the years. People get divorced and remarried. Some parents were never married to begin with and then decide to get married later in life. There are even those people who lose their spouses to illness and decide to marry again. If the person they marry has children, they will most likely want to adopt the children. This is the case more often than some people think. A family lawyer in Arizona can always help you with a stepparent adoption. They’ll walk you through the process and make sure it’s handled properly from the start. If you have any questions about how the process works, you can always call our office and set up a date and time to meet with one of our expert family lawyers in Arizona.
What Exactly is a Stepparent Adoption?
A stepparent adoption is like any other adoption. The only difference is that you have a relationship with one of the child’s parents. Typically, we see this happen in the following cases:
- A client marries somebody who already have children
- Both spouses enter the new relationship with kids
- A single parent decides to get married and their new spouse wishes to adopt their children
- A parent passes away and the other parent remarries
- One spouse is incarcerated and the other meets somebody new
In all of these situations, you have one parent already in the picture. It’s just a matter of a second person wanting to adopt the children in their new family.
Do the Courts Always Approve These Requests?
Some people assume that, just because two people marry, the courts will automatically let the new parent adopt the children. This is not the case. The courts always have the best interests of the child involved. They may find that the petitioner is not a suitable person to be the parent of the child. Perhaps the new spouse has a criminal history. Or they may be a registered sex offender. The courts may learn that a petitioner owes twenty or thirty thousand dollars in back child support for their own kids. You never know what can happen once your family lawyer in Arizona files your adoption petition.
Do You Have to Get the Other Parent’s Permission or Consent?
One thing that’s true of both adoptions and stepparent adoption is that you been the get consent of the other parent. Sometimes you’re lucky and they have no problem signing away their rights. There are other situations where the other parent has been out of the picture for years. In cases where the other parent doesn’t agree to the adoption, your attorney will file a motion to have their parental rights terminated. The parent will get a chance to respond. If they ignore the motion, they court will likely grant your motion. However, judges are very careful when it comes to the termination of anybody’s parental rights.