3 Things to Know About Adopting Your Stepchild

Now that you are happily married, you want to take the next step to connect your new family. You want to adopt your new wife's son. While adoptions can often be very complicated procedures, sometimes taking months or even years, adopting a stepchild is typically a much easier process. However, this does not mean it comes totally challenge-free. The main roadblock you might experience is a lack of consent from the boy's biological father.

If you are considering adopting your spouse's child, it is important to fully understand the legal process. An experienced family law attorney in the Denver area can help you through the process. Read further to find out more about adopting your stepchild.

Obtaining consent

In order to legally adopt your stepchild, you must obtain consent from both biological parents. While it will more than likely be easy to get consent from your wife, it may be more difficult to get consent from the biological father. However, if the court has terminated the biological father's parental rights, then you may not need to obtain his permission for the adoption.

If the court has not terminated the father's rights, then be prepared for a difficult road. When a biological parent allows another individual to adopt his or her child, that person is giving up their parental rights and responsibilities. If your stepchild's father is still involved with the boy and they have a relationship, you may not be able to obtain consent for the adoption.

Terminating rights

If the biological father refuses to allow you to adopt the child, there may be grounds for you request a termination of parental rights. However, you must provide evidence to the court that the biological father is unfit or abandoned his parental duties. Another option is to prove that birth father is not actually the biological father through a paternity test. Your attorney can help you determine the best course of action for requesting a parental rights termination from the court.

Finding the right resources

If you are considering adopting a stepchild, it is important that you understand the process and its requirements. One of the best resources for family law matters is an experienced lawyer. You can speak with an attorney about your case and find out what steps you need to take to ensure a smooth process.