Many families want to adopt and are fortunate to have an opportunity to do so. The adoption process is fairly lengthy and complex, with many steps that must be done correctly to move on to the next. An attorney can prepare the necessary paperwork to start the adoption process, a child must be “freed” or made available for adoption, and the adopting parents will need to participate in any necessary home studies.
Step-parent adoptions are becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, the Legislature made it more difficult for step-parents to adopt if certain actions are not taken by the custodial parent prior to the filing. You are eligible if you have been married to the custodial parent for a year, but only if the custodial parent has sole legal and physical custody. Additionally, if the other parent is not willing to allow the adoption to take place, there are certain facts that must be proven to involuntarily terminate their parental rights. You need to discuss the specifics with a qualified attorney to determine your eligibility before filing.