A step parent can adopt a child under certain circumstances. An adoption is very regulated. There are specific steps that you have to go through. Basically, in order for a step parent to adopt a child, you need to have consent of the biological parent or abandonment, one or the other. It’s, of course, helpful if you have consent then the adoption can go very smoothly. Sometimes, there’s situations where the biological parent doesn’t want to have to pay child support, they don’t want to have to be involved, they didn’t bond with the child, they just would as soon not have that hassle. A lot of people don’t want to pay child support, so that’s a reason why someone would consent to an adoption.
The other aspect of a step parent adoption, proving abandonment and failure to support is hard. You have to present evidence regarding those factors. Sometimes someone hasn’t really been involved. Maybe, they have drug or alcohol issues, and they haven’t been involved with their child, but they’re not interested in giving up their parental rights. There’s an emotional attachment to the child, so you’re going to have to convince the court that the biological parent has abandoned the child, failed to support the child and that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. In either instance, there’re certain steps that the step parent who wishes to adopt have to go through. They have to go and get fingerprinted through the CBI. They have to have what we call a TRAILS background check run, so they can’t have any instances where they’ve been reported as abusing a child.
There are steps that you have to go through in order to have a successful adoption happen. At Lewis & Matthews, we can help you understand those steps, and guide you through each of the steps, and help the step parent adoption happen.