Some time after a divorce, remarriage is quite common. Oftentimes, people remarry and a stepparent becomes very close with the children of the prior marriage. This is healthy and appropriate. When a non-custodial biological parent is not involved with the children and essentially absent from their life, it is common for the stepparent to fully assume the role of the biological parent. In this scenario, many stepparents wish to adopt their stepchildren.
The process can be very straightforward if the custodial biological parent and the non-custodial biological parent provide consent. In this case, the custodial parent and the non-custodial biological parent sign consent forms, and an application is presented to the court.
A wise first step would be to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney who will explain the legal responsibilities of adopting a child or children. Of course there are some important additional steps, including a background check, domestic violence registry checks, and other documents and investigation to ensure the safety of the family.
Eventually, if everything is provided and approved, the Court schedules a hearing. Unlike most family court matters, which are often traumatic and upsetting, an adoption hearing is a joyful, happy occasion. Oftentimes members of the extended family attend and the hearing is similar to an event of celebration, often followed by a family lunch or dinner.