Your new spouse has a beautiful baby or young child that you want to include in your family. This is an opportunity for a win-win. All parties can benefit from stepparent adoption, especially the child.
Step one in the process is terminating the parental rights and obligations of the other biological parent. This is easy if he/she has died; or wants to be relieved of the duty to support the child.
If the other parent does not want to give up parental rights, but is an unfit parent due to incarceration, or drug abuse, or has abandoned the child, a court will likely terminate the parental rights. This is true also if there has been no communication or support provided for a long period.
Once this is done, the relationship ceases to exist, and, for example, the child does not automatically inherit from the original parent.
Why You Should Formalize The Relationship
A close family wants a legal relationship as well as an emotional one. But there are also very practical reasons to formalize adoption. If the birth parent/spouse were to die, the stepparent would have no legal relationship or custody rights to the child even though the child may have been living with the stepparent.
In a mirror image of the termination of rights, the stepparent now has a duty to care for the child, and the child is an heir to the stepparent.
Let Us Help You In Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County And Beyond
Generally, a home study is not required as it would be in other forms of adoption. Let attorney Christopher T. Adams assist with your stepparent adoption. He has deep roots and a firm commitment to the Georgia community. For a free, 30-minute consultation with Mr. Adams, contact us online, or call our lawyer at 800-582-0304.