Stepparent Adoption Lawyer


California has a high rate of stepparent adoptions. A successful stepparent adoption in Temecula ends the legal rights of a biological parent, and the stepparent acquires legal and financial responsibility for his or her spouse's children.

You may need a Riverside stepparent adoption attorney when you have a precious child from another relationship in order to file suit. Mom or Dad has been out of your child’s life for years. Now, you have married a good one. Someone who loves and cares for you child as their own. Your spouse has bonded with your child to the point that he or she considers your child their own. It is time to make it official. How is this done?

How to get into adoptions for stepparents in Riverside

A stepparent adoption is an action where one parent is the natural parent and the prospective adopting parent is married to the natural parent (a step parent). At the end of the adoption process, the stepparent is afforded all of the rights and all of the responsibilities of a natural parent.

With the help of a stepparent adoptions attorney, legally, that step parent becomes the parent of the child. If a divorce later occurs, the adoptive parent and the natural parent are treated equally. 

The law does not recognize any difference between the natural parent and the stepparent. Custody can be awarded to either parent, and both parents will be obligated to pay child support. In order for the stepparent to adopt the child, the other parent’s parental rights must be terminated.


The stepparent actually replaces the role of one of the child’s natural parents. If the natural parent is deceased, the step parent must simply produce a death certificate. 

If the natural parent is alive, however, that parent’s rights must be terminated before the court will allow the step parent to adopt the child. 

It is not easy to terminate a parent’s rights. In order to do so, the petitioning parents must prove the natural parent should have his or her rights terminated because he or she is either unfit or has abandoned the child.

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Why you need a Riverside stepparent adoption attorney

The adoption process essentially requires the filing of two lawsuits, one for termination of parental rights, and a second one for the adoption of the child. Both lawsuits are heard together in court. You will need a good stepparent adoptions attorney representing you. In the Petition to adopt, the spouse of the adopting step parent must consent to the adoption. If the adoptive child is twelve years or older, that child must consent to the adoption, as well.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the child’s relatives and natural parent whose rights may be terminated have a chance to object. If they do so, the court will have a trial. Regardless of whether an objection is filed, the court will also order a home study to determine the child’s best interest - in the end it will impact the child's life the most. This will include a background check of the natural and adopting parents. Generally speaking, the stepparent adoptions process takes approximately three to nine months.

Prerequisites of a stepparent adoption

We will prepare your legal documents and assist you throughout the adoption process.

California residency:
Prior to filing your stepparent adoption, you must have lived in California for at least 6 months. Adoption papers are filed with the Probate Court in the county where you live.

Absent Parent Consent:
The majority of the adoptions we assist families with are unable to obtain the consent of the absent parent. If the absent parent has abandoned the child, the adoption can be completed without his or her consent. Abandonment occurs when the other parent has had no significant contact with the child for the previous 12 months.

Child's permission:
In California, if the child is 14 years old or older, he or she will sign an adoption consent form.

When the whereabouts or identity of an absent parent is unknown:
It is fairly common for the whereabouts of the absent parent to be unknown. It is also fairly common for the identity of the biological father to be unknown. You can still complete the stepparent adoption in either case.

Adoption by Stepparents in California:
We have the experience to help you complete your stepparent adoption no matter what your situation is. In California, a stepparent adoption takes about 3 months to complete. Once completed, the child will be given a new birth certificate that includes the child's new name as well as the new parent's name.

Adoption of Adults in California:
Stepparent adoptions in California are straightforward
. As an adult, the adoptee can decide on their own whether or not they want to be adopted, and they do not need the biological parent's consent. Adult adoptions can be completed in as little as 45-60 days.

Our empathetic family law attorneys may aid with parental rights termination processes. We will submit the required paperwork and represent you in family court. We also handle the adoptee’s legal name change. We are familiar with the local courts and can guide you through the stepparent adoption procedure. Free initial consultation

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