Many adoption proceedings are for stepparents. When a stepparent adopts their spouse’s child they are agreeing to financially support their spouse’s child and dismissing the non-custodial parent from any rights to the child. If you are thinking about adopting your stepchild here are some things to consider during the process:
- Who starts the process: It is up to the stepparent to start the adoption process and fill out the required paperwork to put the adoption in motion.
- How do you know if you are able to adopt your stepchild: In most cases of a stepparent adopting their spouse’s child in Georgia, the absent parent is either deceased or has abandoned their responsibilities as a parent including financially and by not maintaining a relationship with the child. If the non-custodial parent has a regular relationship with the child and is maintaining their financial obligations you will have to get consent from them to adopt the child.
- Do the children have any say: In Georgia if the child is 14 years of age or older they have to consent in writing to the adoption.
- Do you have to get approved to adopt the child: Before being granted legal custody as a stepparent you will have to pass a background check. The Department of Human Resources will also verify that the adoption is in the best interest of the child and conditions are going to be good for the child.
Before proceeding with an adoption it is important to consult a family law attorney to help you through the process.