Is there a more exciting time than when you decide to expand your family? There’s something special when a new addition to your household comes. Children add energy and vitality to a loving, caring home.
Unfortunately, not every couple can have children and so they must rely on other means to fulfill that life goal. For many married couples, adoption represents a way to expand their family in a legal and permanent way.
Adoption is a legal process that seeks to make a change in a child’s parents. Because it’s a legal process, it’s really important to hire an attorney who can help you navigate the paperwork and processes that are required.
While there are adoptions for singles and married couples who cannot have children, in this blog, we’re going to focus on step-parent adoptions.
Adoption By Step-Parents
It’s a common occurrence in today’s world that people with children remarry. Just like Mike and Carol Brady with their six children, some remarried couples consider having the step-parent adopt the children of their new spouse.
This makes the step-parent the full, legal parent to the children. It’s a way of creating a new family with all the rights and privileges that parents have legally, even though the step-parent wasn’t the biological parent.
Here’s where you’ll need a lawyer to assist: in order for the step-parent to adopt, the other biological parent has to either give up their parental rights or have those rights terminated.
You’ll need to prove in court that the adoption is in the best interests of the child due to negligent behavior on the part of the other biological parent. How can you prove that? There are several ways:
- Has the other biological parent abandoned the child, or had a substantial lack of contact with them?
- Have they ceased to offer financial support for the child?
- Does the other biological parent have a substantial history of neglecting the child?
- Is the other biological parent unfit to care for the child?
As you can see, because the other parent will lose their rights, not only is it important to document why this is in the child’s best interests, it is more sensitive to have a third party making that argument to the court.
Yes, it is possible to get the birth certificate of the child changed to reflect the new parent. It may even be possible to change the child’s legal name.
Remember that the cardinal rule when it comes to family law is the decision needs to reflect the best interests of the children. Step-parent adoptions definitely fall under that guideline.
Family Matters Law Group Can Help
If you are remarried and feel that making your new spouse the legal parent of your children is needed, Family Matters Law Group can help. You will need to have solid reasons for making this change and documentation of negligent behavior on the part of your ex.
We fight hard for what is in the best interests of your family. After all, family law is all about protecting your children, your assets, and your money. Setting up an initial consultation is easy: simply use our convenient online contact form or call us.
We’ve been assisting clients across the Atlanta metro area for years to get winning outcomes in court. Call us today — we’re ready to hear your story.