Stepparent Adoption Process in Arizona
A lot of first marriages do not last forever. That’s a fact of life. Sometimes it takes a little time to find the person you were meant to be with. If you fall in love with somebody who has kids, you have two choices. You can make the commitment to both the person and their children. The best way to do that is to complete a stepparent adoption. The good news is that a family lawyer in Arizona can help make this happen.
Stepparent Adoptions are Just Like Regular Adoptions
Some people think that adopting stepchildren is easy to do. The truth is that it’s almost exactly like a regular adoption. The big difference is that you’re already involved in their lives. You don’t have to worry about changing your mind or getting the kids to get used to you. The caseworker will know that the children are comfortable with you and have no problem with your being in their lives.
Your Family Lawyer in Arizona Will File Your Adoption Petition
The first step toward a stepparent adoption is filing your adoption petition. Your family lawyer in Arizona will handle this for you. That way, you can rest assured that all of the papers were filed properly and in a timely manner.
You’ll Need to Submit a Background Check and Fingerprints
Just like all other adoption petitioners, you’ll need to complete a background check. This can be done around the same time as your fingerprints. You can’t schedule your final hearing until these things have been done. Once the social workers has all of their information, they’ll type up a recommendation to the judge. Hopefully, she’ll support the adoption and the judge will approve it.
You’re Going to Need to Terminate the Other Parent’s Rights
It’s really difficult to terminate a person’s parental rights. Judges are hesitant to strip someone of their rights because it is permanent. Once you lose your parental rights, it’s near impossible to get them back. That’s why judges are so cautious in stripping someone of their parental rights. Typically, the other parent supports the adoption. If that’s the case, they may be willing to give up their parental rights.
Everybody Must Complete a Home Study
Anybody who is looking to adopt a child must complete a home study. This is when a social worker comes out to your home to make sure it’s a safe environment for a child. They’re going to look at the following things in your home study:
- Is it neat, clean and organized?
- Do you have a separate and adequate bedroom for the new child?
- Are there age-appropriate toys there for your child to play with?
- Are there any dangers for a young child to live in your home
The home study is also going to ask for some background information, For example, you’ll need to prove your income so the social worker knows you can afford to raise a child.
Call and speak to One of Our Family Lawyers in Arizona
Adopting your spouse’s children is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. For whatever reason, you’ve decided that you want to legally adopt your new spouse’s kids. While the steps outlined above don’t seem too overwhelming, you don’t want to miss a step. If you forget a certain form, they can dismiss your petition. Rather than risk this happening, just call and talk to one of our seasoned family lawyers in Arizona. Sit down with somebody who’s handled plenty of cases just like yours.