Helping Stepparents Adopt Their Children
A stepparent adoption can be a worthwhile experience that brings closure to a family situation and offers a happy and stable environment for a child. However, it can be a complex process.
At Weinman & Associates, P.C., in Austin, Texas, our family law lawyers encourage stepparent adoptions when a biological parent has little or no participation in a child’s life and a new spouse has stepped into the shoes of the absent parent. We provide extensive encouragement, guidance and support at each stage of the process to help make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. We want to help you make a better life for your child and family as a whole.
Stepparent Adoption Process
Obtaining a stepparent adoption is a two-step process. First, parental rights of the noncustodial parent must be terminated. This may be a simple matter of having the parent sign a voluntary relinquishment of their parental rights if the parent has no relationship with the child. If termination is contested, we can fight for it on various grounds, including neglect or abuse, nonpayment of child support for one year or more, incarceration for two years or more, etc.
Note: If back child support is owed, we can still seek a judgment for those monies. However, no future child support will be owed once the termination is final.
Weinman & Associates, P.C. is experienced in handling termination of parental rights cases both in contested and uncontested situations. We work hard to make the process go as efficiently and effectively as possible. If the parent terminating his or her rights is involved, we will strive to secure inheritance rights, or at the very minimum, obtain biological and medical information so the child could have access to his or her medical history.
The second part of the adoption process is for the adopting couple (the parent and stepparent) to fulfill the adoption requirements. There will be a social study of both parties, reviewing their backgrounds and the home environment. In general, the parties will need to show that the stepparent has a good relationship with the child and that the child will benefit from the arrangement.
Finalizing The Adoption
Once the adoption is approved, families can move forward with hope and excitement for the future. The children take active participation in the adoption ceremony and families are welcome to bring their cameras and take pictures with the judge. If children are old enough, they are encouraged to determine what their new name will be. Overall, it is a joyous experience that makes any troubles getting there worthwhile.