Adoption is a unifying experience that allows families to come together in a beautiful and meaningful way. For stepparents who would like to adopt the birth child of their spouse to unite their family, the good news is this form of adoption is often a much simpler process since it involves a birth parent. In other adoption cases, the court often requires home visits, adoption hearings, and a lengthy waiting period. These requirements can be removed in most cases for stepparent adoptions to speed up the process. However, the consent of the other birth parent is required for this type of adoption to go through without a hitch.
Obtaining a Birth Parent’s Consent
The consent of a birth parent is generally required, though there are some circumstances in which it is not necessary. If the birth parent’s rights were terminated due to one or more of the following, consent is not required:
- Failure to pay child support
If the birth parent’s rights have not been terminated, consent can be a touchy issue since it essentially means the parent will give up his or her parental rights. Depending on the relationship that parent has with the child, this might be beneficial for all parties involved. If for example, the birth parent was ordered to pay child support but does not have a close relationship with the child, he or she might give up parental rights to be relieved of this responsibility. It is also possible for the other parent to realize that it is simply in the best interest of the child to give consent.
What If the Birth Parent Does Not Consent?
Some birth parents refuse to give consent, but that does not mean the process stops with this refusal. There are ways to have parental rights terminated. This includes:
- Proving the other parent abandoned the child by showing that he or she has not communicated with or provided the child support.
- Showing the birthparent is unfit by proving he or she is abusive, neglectful, does not visit, has a mental disturbance, abuses drugs or alcohol, or is incarcerated.
- Proving that the supposed birth father or mother is not truly biologically related to the child through DNA testing.
Additionally, a stepparent must be married to the child’s biological parent for at least 1 year in order to adopt the child.
Assuming these requirements can be easily satisfied, the stepparent adoption process is an incredibly streamlined experience, allowing families to seamlessly blend in a formal way, emphasizing the bonds between them.
Oklahoma City Adoption Lawyers
If you are in the process of blending your new family together and wish to adopt your spouse’s child, you can count on the Oklahoma City adoption lawyers at the Mazaheri Law Firm to represent your interests and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. We understand the importance of wanting to fully integrate your family through this formal process. It is a rewarding experience that often brings families closer together and we would be honored to help facilitate the making of this happy future.
Our firm is adept at handling a wide range of adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, foster care adoptions, agency adoptions, relative adoptions, infant adoptions, international adoptions, adult adoptions, special needs adoptions, and more. In some cases, guardianship might also be a suitable option given that adoption cuts off parental rights, child support, and state benefits in foster care situations. We aim to make the process of adoption as stress-free as possible, allowing you to enjoy your forever family.
Contact us today at (405) 414-2222 for a consultation.