A step-parent adoption is when a step-mother or step-father adopts the child or children from his or her current marriage.  In many instances, the step-parent adoption process can be straight forward.  However, there may be roadblocks if there is no consent from the child’s biological parent.

What Rights Does the Biological Parent Lose in a Step-Parent Adoption?

When a birth parent consents to adoption, they lose all their parental rights to that child.  These rights can include, custody and visitation rights, or rights to make decisions for the child (medical, financial, educational, etc.).  A biological parent who consents to relinquish his or her rights may also no longer be required to pay obligatory child support payments to the other parent.

Do I Need Consent from the Biological Parent to Adopt my Step-Child?

Yes. In order to go through the adoption process, the child’s biological parent(s) must consent to the adoption.  In some cases, the biological parent may have to relinquish his or her rights to the child.  If the parent’s location is not known, this may be a case when the rights are automatically relinquished.  In the state of New York, if it can be proven that the parent abandoned the child for a certain amount of time and have not been supporting the child financially, then it may be considered abandonment and it may help your case if the parent does not want to give consent for the adoption.

A step-parent adoption is a serious decision to make.  It can create a new family dynamic for the child.  It also may be in the best interest of the child so as to create a solidified family unit.  Whatever the case may be, it’s important to consult with an experienced adoption attorney to discuss your matter and your options.

If you require experienced legal representation for any of your divorce and family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Paige, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.