Our firm represents stepparents and their spouses throughout the adoption process. An amicus attorney is appointed to make a recommendation to the court regarding the adoption. The amicus attorney typically meets with all parties and reviews the facts to ensure that the adoption is in the child’s best interest. Christine K. Lincoln prepares all documentation and appears in court with the family. The biological parent’s rights are terminated and the child is adopted by the stepparent.
It is important to note that a stepparent is not legally recognized as the child’s parent, even though the stepparent may be acting as the child’s parent and supporting the child. Unless an adoption has been finalized establishing the stepparent as the legal parent of the child, the stepparent has no legal rights to the child. The surviving biological parent, whether involved in the child’s life or not, typically retains legal rights to the child, until that parent’s rights have been terminated by the court.
Upon a successful stepparent adoption, the Bureau of Vital Statistics is notified and a new birth certificate is issued. Our firm can also assist with any name change for the child which accompanies the stepparent adoption.
Some families are interested in adult adoption. Adult adoption can provide emotional benefits for the adult stepchild, stepparent and family. The adult adoption establishes the relationship as if the stepparent was the biological parent of the adult child. Adult adoptions can involve a name change and new birth certificate for the adult child being adopted.