Birmingham Stepparent Adoption Lawyer
Of all the different types of adoptions available in Alabama, stepchildren adoptions are the most common. After a successful stepchild adoption, the stepparent becomes the legal parent to the child and will have all the legal parental rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. Stepparent adoptions are a joyous time for the entire family and while the process is not as complex as other adoption cases, it can still always become complicated. Below, our Birmingham stepparent adoption lawyer explains what you need to know about the process.
The Stepparent Adoption Process in Birmingham
Stepparent adoptions begin when a person petitions the court to allow the adoption to take place. Along with the petition, the child’s birth certificate is also submitted at this time. The next step is paving that both biological parents have consented to the adoption. Obtaining the consent of the biological parent who is not in a relationship with the stepparent is typically one of the hardest parts of any stepparent adoption.
During an initial hearing at the probate court, you will submit all documentation that supports the adoption. If you are successful with your petition, the judge will issue their final opinion. If the judge allows the stepparent adoption, that person then has full parental rights and responsibilities.
When a Birth Parent Does Not Consent
Again, obtaining the consent of the other birth parent is sometimes one of the most challenging aspects of any stepparent adoption. Even when the other birth parent does not consent, there are still times the court will allow a stepparent adoption. These include when:
- The natural parent has abandoned the child, meaning they have not provided financial or emotional support for at least six months.
- The birth parent has left the child without provision for their identification for 30 days.
- The birth parent has left the child with other people without communication or provision for support.
- The birth parent has received notification of the pending adoption and has not responded to the petition within 30 days.
Requirements in Stepparent Adoption
As with other adoption cases, those involving stepparents have certain requirements you must meet. These are as follows:
- The child being adopted must be a minor child under the age of 19 years old.
- The stepparent must be deemed healthy enough to provide for the child’s needs.
- A stepparent must be married to the child’s birth parent for at least three years before adopting the child. However, stepparents who have lived with the child for at least one year may qualify for an exemption.
- Either the stepparent or the birth parent must be a citizen of the United States.
Our Stepparent Adoption Lawyer in Birmingham Can Help You Through the Process
Adopting a stepchild is a blessing, but the process is not always easy. At Peeples Law, our Birmingham stepparent adoption lawyer knows the challenges that can arise and how to prevail over them so you have the best chance of obtaining the outcome you are hoping for. Call us now at 205-403-5577 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney.