The ins and outs of step-parent adoption

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

There’s really no such thing as a typical family in America anymore. Each family’s situation is different, although some can relate to one another through common experiences. For instance, there are many blended families throughout the nation nowadays. People who have children marry other people who have children, and the children become step-siblings. Step-parent adoption is a viable option for many Missouri residents as a means of knitting a family closer together and creating an official, legally recognized relationship.

This type of adoption is governed at the state level. If a step-parent adopts a child, a non-custodial parent no longer has responsibilities or parental rights regarding the child. However, before such an adoption can take place, the custodial and non-custodial parent must agree to it.

In some states, parental consent to a step-parent adoption must be written. There are also times when the non-custodial parent must be present in court. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as abandonment, then the court may not require the parent’s consent. The court, of course, is the ultimate voice of authority and typically reviews each prospective adoption on a case-by-case basis.

If the non-custodial parent contests a step-parent adoption or simply refuses to consent to it, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the adoption can’t take place. A crucial step toward adopting a stepson or stepdaughter is seeking clarification of the laws of the state in which you plan to file for the adoption. A Missouri family law attorney can provide information and guidance to any parent with questions regarding the process in this state.

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