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Ask an Attorney: Adoption

What is a “step-parent adoption”?

Adoptions come in all shapes and sizes. For example, there are international and agency adoptions, private adoptions and “family adoptions.”  Family adoptions are typically adoptions by someone who is related by Blood or Marriage.  This includes adoptions by a step parent.

Adoption law is one of the more satisfying areas of practice especially if it is a friendly adoption.  Judges are happy to preside over step-parent adoptions.  It is great to bring families together rather than litigating to break them apart.  The laws are very exact and the “i’s’ must be dotted and the “t’s” crossed.  It is essential that you have an experienced lawyer who understands the process.

Obtaining consent to a step-parent adoption is often the first step.  The State will not create a new legal parent, until the prior parent’s rights are terminated (unless the biological parent is deceased).  The spouse of the step-parent seeking to adopt will join the petition for adoption, and consent of the parent who will be terminating their parental rights is required for the adoption to be uncontested.  A step-parent adoption can add new depth and meaning to your family, but like any legal proceeding, things can become complicated quickly. In addition,  there are other ramifications  that must be considered before a petition for adoption is filed for and is completed.

Our lawyers at Hillman, Brown & Darrow can help navigate the process for you.  Give one of our Annapolis Attorneys a call today.