Step Parent Adoption

Step-parent adoptions occur when step-parents formally adopt their spouse's child. Step-parent adoptions are more popular today with the increased number of blended families to make one family unit. Step-parent adoption allows you to legally become the parent of the child, including having all the legal rights and obligations of a parent. You also have ability to change the child’s name to match yours.

What are the requirements?

The adoption process of a step-child is less restrictive than an adoption of a non-related child.  In order to adopt your stepchild you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be married to your spouse for at least 6 months and have a copy of your marriage license;
  • Must have consent to adopt from your spouse;
  • May need consent from the child, depending on their age;
  • May need consent from the non-custodial, other biological parent.
  • May need a home study and background check, if you have not resided together for at least 2 years.
  • Must have recent, certified copies of birth certificates for you, your spouse and the child.

What happens if the other parent will not consent?

If the non-custodial parent is not an active participant in child’s life it is still required that you obtain consent. In the event that you are unable to get consent from the other biological parent you may still be able to adopt the child. You may be able to terminate their parental rights to continue with the adoption. In the event you are unable to locate the other parent there are other options available. Our experienced attorneys are able to discuss all options with you that apply to your situation.

What happens with child support?

Child support can be used as an incentive to get the non-custodial parent to consent to the adoption since all future child support will terminate upon the adoption. Child support arrears will remain due as those amounts are already vested, however the custodial parent has the option of forgiving the arrears amounts.

Our attorneys work with both step-parents and non-custodial parents. We can help make the process of adoption less overwhelming to protect your rights. If you have questions about step-parent adoption or if you are ready to proceed, contact us for a consultation. We can assist you with all the necessary documents, and represent you in the court proceedings to finalize the adoption.

Our family law team of attorneys include Board Certified Specialists in Family Law, specifically trained Collaborative Divorce Professionals, and an expert in adoption in North Carolina. Whether you believe that your situation is simple or complex, no adoption is easy. An experienced attorney can assist you in understanding the long-term impact your decisions may have. Collectively, our team brings a century of legal experience to your family law matter. Call our family law team at 336-379-1390 to schedule your consultation today.

Michele G. Smith

Greensboro Adoption and Family Law Attorney Michele Smith

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