A stepparent can be an essential part of a child's life, and oftentimes stepparents can provide more emotional and financial support for a child than a biological parent.
Stepparent adoption is among the most common scenarios of adoption in the United States, and the State of Georgia allows for stepparent adoption. Below are the basics of what you should know if you or someone you know is considering stepparent adoption.
Termination of Parental Rights
Before a stepparent can petition for the adoption of a stepchild or stepchildren in Georgia, the parental rights of the biological parent must be terminated. During this process, the non-custodial parent gives away all parental rights and responsibilities, including child support. There are two possible outcomes for this interaction:
1. The biological parent willingly lets go of his or her rights.
2. The biological parent is unwilling to give away his or her rights. In these cases, a court must be petitioned to assess the situation. When this happens, few things can be more valuable than having an experienced family law attorney on your side.
Petition for Adoption
After parental rights have been terminated for the biological parent, the stepparent must petition Georgia court in order to adopt the stepchild or stepchildren. The action must arise in Georgia if that is the state the child lives in.
Hiring a family law attorney can help you and your family prepare for a possible home visit, and ensure you are aware of the criteria the judge will examine. After considering the family scenario and facts of the case, and the judge rules the adoption to be in the best interest of the child, adoption will be granted.
Contact the Atlanta Family Law Attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today
While the adoption process can be difficult, sometimes the best thing for a child is to be adopted by a stepparent. Do you believe stepparent adoption is the best thing for your family?
If you want to ensure the best outcome for your family, hire an experienced family attorney to help you through the process. Having help with an adoption case can make the experience easier, and allow you to focus more energy on doing the best thing for your family.
Our devoted team of family lawyers has been serving the Atlanta metropolitan area since 1988. We have the expertise and commitment to help your family through the Georgia adoption process.
To schedule a consultation, call us at (678) 971-3413 or click here to complete a contact form.