Adoption is a beautiful way for a family to grow, and sometimes, a family would like to accomplish this through stepparent adoption. It may seem natural to expand your Tennessee family by legalizing a strong relationship that already exists between a stepparent and children, but it can be a complex process. If this is something you would like for your family, it can be helpful to learn as much as possible about the process.
If you would like to adopt the biological children of your spouse, it is first important to understand the requirements you will have to meet in order to complete the process. This can be a difficult thing to accomplish, especially if the other biological parent is absent or is not likely to give his or her consent. Adoption of any kind is a complex legal process, and your family may benefit from having experienced guidance as you walk through it.
What are the requirements?
Stepparent adoption is about legally establishing the close, loving relationship you may already have with your stepchild. However, simply having a close relationship is not enough. While home visits and other steps may not be necessary, there are certain things that must happen. Consider the following:
- In order to complete a stepparent adoption, you must have consent from the other birth parent.
- If the other parent is not present in the child's life, you may be able to seek a termination of parental rights from the court.
- In cases involving abuse, neglect, drug use and other factors, you may be able to seek a termination of the rights of the other birth parent.
- Stepparent adoption can be relatively complex in cases involving disputed or uncertain paternity.
The primary goal of a Tennessee family law court is to protect the best interests of the children and preserve parental relationships when possible. If it is important for your family to move forward with this process, you may find it helpful to first seek an assessment of your case and explanation of how to proceed.
Accomplishing your family law goals
The adoption process can be confusing and overwhelming. This is why many families find it helpful to start by securing the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney. By starting with this step, you may be able to avoid certain complications and move forward with confidence regarding your rights and legal options.