Effective Legal Guidance For Adoptions

When you have entered into a marriage with children who are not your own, you want them to grow to trust you and treat you like their own parent. Many stepparents who are looking to establish a meaningful and lifelong relationship with their new stepchild opt for the process of adoption, so as to legally assert their role as a parent.

If you would like to begin the process of adopting your stepchild, the legal team at the law offices of Kathleen J. Smith has the experience to walk you through the required paperwork. Our firm has offices in Sonoma and Santa Rosa, and we handle family legal matters throughout the region. We can help you prepare for the legal process of adoption, and we will tailor our approach to meet the unique needs of the children in your family.

Call 707-387-0668 to discuss your specific situation.

Preparing For The Process Of Adoption

Adopting a child as a stepparent requires the consent of the birth parents. While you may be married to one of the birth parents, it is still necessary to ensure the consent of the child's other birth parent, who may be divorced or separated from your spouse. The process can go smoothly and efficiently when the other birth parent has an amicable relationship with your spouse and is willing to communicate about your adoption process. If the other birth parent contests the adoption, the process may be prolonged.

If you are facing unreasonable difficulty in communicating with the child's other birth parent, it is also possible to terminate his or her parenting rights without their consent. This is only applicable if the birth parent is considered unfit for parenting, such as if he or she suffers from drug or alcohol abuse or does not have a relationship with the child. Our legal team can help you navigate the required paperwork to prepare for the adoption process regardless of how complex the circumstances of your situation are. We will help you file the initial petition in family law court, and we will help you plan your steps along the way.

The Rights To Grandparent Adoption

In California, a child can also be adopted by his or her grandparents under specific circumstances. If the child's parents are still alive, grandparents may be granted custody if the parents themselves are deemed unfit to provide for their child's well-being and safety. Grandparents may also override the rights of a stepparent if he or she is deemed abusive or unfit as well.

At the law offices of Kathleen J. Smith, we are devoted to protecting the best interests of your children. If you are not sure whether your child belongs in the care of stepparents or grandparents, we will help you prioritize your child's needs so that he or she can grow up in the best possible environment.

Discuss Your Interests With An Experienced Lawyer

Learn more about the process of adoption by meeting with an experienced family law attorney in a confidential setting. To schedule an appointment, send us an email or call our office.