In many homes in Arizona, stepparents are playing a bigger role in their stepchildren’s lives than a biological parent is. Stepparents are meeting the emotional, physical, and financial demands of raising their stepchildren and building close bonds and memories. After some time, these stepparents, and often the stepchildren, realize that the missing biological parent is going to remain absent and consider the option of stepparent/stepchild adoption.
Before you dive into the process of a stepchild adoption, there are a few things that you should think about and understand.
Consult With An Experienced Attorney – Before you do anything, you should meet with an experienced adoption attorney who can get to know you and your unique situation. Stepchild adoption is not the right move for every family, but it is for many. An experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate through the complex challenges that accompany adoption – particularly when you need to locate a biological parent or terminate the rights of a biological parent.
Consider All Family Members – Before anybody starts making adoption plans, it is important to consider the feelings of everyone involved. It may seem like something happy and exciting, but thinking about an actual adoption or terminating a biological’s parents parental rights can cause emotions to stir. Though an adoption may feel like the right step for you, it may be something that causes despair for another family member. Be sure that everyone is on the same page.
Adoptions Are Not All Joy – Videos of stepchildren requesting to be adopted by a stepparent or of stepparents being presented with adoption papers are very touching and definitely show the heart in adoptions between stepchildren and stepparents, but there is much more to it. There is devastation when a biological parent easily relinquishes custody. There are mixed emotions about the legalities of the adoption, and, for some, the adoption elicits feelings of anger and resentment. There is usually much more to a stepparent adoption than just tears of joy.
Paperwork Has To Be Filed With The Court – You don’t get to pick and choose who is legally your child or your parent. There are laws, rules, petitions, and hearings. There are legal steps that have to be abided by and the process takes time. It is best to hire an experienced adoption attorney to help you make sure everything is in place and that all of the formalities are completed. Trying to push an adoption through can get technical and if all of the i’s aren’t dotted and the t’s crossed right, you may end up back at square one.
It’s Not Free – Just because you want it to happen, doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay for it. Of course, adopting a stepchild is not going to be as expensive as traditional adoptions, but it is still going to cost money to complete the process.
Experienced Adoption Attorneys In Phoenix
If you are considering adopting a stepchild or would like to consult with a professional adoption attorney who can help you understand the process better, contact the professional legal team at Lasiter Law in Phoenix. We have experience, we understand, and we care about the future of your family. Call us today!
Lasiter & Jackson, located in Phoenix, Arizona (AZ), also represents clients in the East Valley and West Valley communities, in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Avondale, Sun City, Gilbert, Surprise, Glendale and Peoria; counties served include Maricopa County and Pinal County.