Assisting Stepparents With Adoptions
The parent-child relationship is both a legal relationship and an emotional one. Through adoption, stepparents can give legal standing to a parent-child relationship that already exists emotionally.
At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to explain what is involved in stepparent adoptions. From our offices in Wyomissing and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we serve Berks, Lancaster, York, Schuylkill and Lebanon counties and the Lehigh Valley.
When Can I Adopt A Stepchild?
Before the adoption can take place, the parental rights of the biological father or mother must be fully and finally terminated. As a result, stepchild adoption is only appropriate when the child no longer has a relationship with his or her biological parent. Our lawyers can guide you through the process of terminating the biological parent’s rights.
As the adoptive parent, you will need to complete a background check. A home study is not necessary for stepparents or family members who adopt.
What Rights Do I Have As An Adoptive Parent?
As an adoptive parent, you have the same rights as a biological parent. You have the right with your spouse to make decisions with regard to issues such as medical care, education and religious upbringing. You can choose to have your child take your name.
You also take on the obligations of parenthood. If you and your spouse divorce, you could be responsible for paying child support. You would also have the same right to visitation and child custody as a biological parent. Your child would have the same right to inherit as a biological child if you die without a will. If you draft a will or trust, it will determine who receives your property upon your death.