In a step-parent adoption, an individual applies to adopt the birth child of a spouse or partner. If this is what you would like to do, our knowledgeable lawyers can help.
We will work with you to gather the documentation required for making an application to court for an Order of Adoption.
To learn more about how we can help you complete a step-parent adoption, call (705) 302-1102 (Barrie) or (289) 802-2433 (Newmarket) or click here to schedule a consultation and let us know how we can help you.
Why is Experienced Representation Needed When Adopting a Child?
Adopting a child is an exciting time in any family’s life! However, that exciting time can also be accompanied by stress and frustration as adoptions require prospective parents to meet certain requirements and to complete and file a large amount of paperwork.
If you are interested in completing step-parent adoption, the family law experts at Galbraith Family Law can provide experienced representation.
We understand how to work with the family court system, and can guide you through the process, ensuring paperwork is filed correctly, and standing by your side – working in the best interests of your family.
What Are the Most Important Things to Know About Stepparent Adoption?
Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption – and again it involves one spouse wanting to adopt the child of the other.
Step-parent adoptions may involve termination of parental rights on one party’s behalf – our lawyers can explain this in more detail.
Home studies in step-parent adoptions are not required unless the court orders one.
If the court does order a home study, it can be completed by an Independent Practitioner (IP) who is hired and paid for by the step-parent.
The step-parent will need to provide a Criminal Record and a Child Welfare Background Check to the IP.
In addition, the birth parent the child lives with will need to consent to the adoption in writing.
How Does the Adoption Process Work?
The adoption process begins with the filing of a petition for adoption. Once that petition is filed with the court, all relevant parties must be notified and either accept or contest the petition. For example, the other birth parent (the one the child does not live with) must be notified that an application for adoption is being made.
Independent legal advice about the adoption must be obtained by the other birth parent. If the other birth parent agrees to the adoption they must then sign a written consent in front of the lawyer. The lawyer will also need to complete a Certificate of Independent Advice.
If the petition for adoption is contested, it is likely that you will need to attend a hearing.
As we mentioned, the adoption process requires a lot of paperwork. Here is some of the paperwork that may be required (remember, every situation is unique):
- Consent to adoption by the biological parents
- A home study
- Affidavit of any fees and expenses paid
- Certified copies of background information regarding the adoptee, including health and genetic history, social history and educational history.
- Current court orders or pleadings specifying the adoptee’s custody or visitation
Our lawyers can make sure the proper paperwork is filled out and filed and we can also explain the specific laws and help you navigate through the process from initial filing to finalization of the adoption.
Having an expert who has been through the process numerous times for other step-parents can help you avoid making costly mistakes and ensuring your adoption goes as smoothly as possible.
As we said, if the adoption is contested you may need to attend a hearing – and we can help you present your case to ensure the best possible outcome. However, if all parties consent to the adoption, and your petition is uncontested, a hearing may not be necessary. Our experienced lawyers can talk to you about your particular circumstances, and help you strengthen your case should a hearing be required.
In a successful adoption hearing, the court must find the following:
- The adoption is in the child’s best interest
- The prospective parents are suitable for the adoption
- The adoption’s procedure and requirements were fulfilled correctly
Once the court enters the adoption decree, the child then has the same rights as any other biological child of the adoptive parents.
Our lawyers are experts at step-parent adoptions and can help make sure the process goes as quickly as possible for you. Our lawyers are also dedicated to protecting the rights of families, and are happy to talk to you about your needs.
Call (705) 302-1102 (Barrie) or (289) 802-2433 (Newmarket) or click here to schedule a consultation and let us know how we can help you.