One of the great privileges of being a family law attorney is the opportunity to help people create new families through adoption. When we mention adoption, what many people picture is the childless couple who hopes to adopt an infant. It may surprise you to know that there are a wide variety of situations that lead to adoption. One of the most common is when a stepparent wishes to adopt the children of his or her spouse.
Even at this happy time, important legal rights and obligations are at stake, so the legal process of adoption needs to be handled with care. At Huckabee, Weiler, & Levengood, P.C., we have decades of experience in family law, so we can confidently maneuver through cases of any level of complexity. We invite you to contact us today to discuss your plans for adoption.
Can I Adopt My Stepchild In Pennsylvania?
Legally, a child can only have two parents, and the legal parent-child relationship confers significant rights and obligations. In order for any child to be available for adoption, one or both of the biological parents must no longer have his or her parental rights. In some cases a parent has died. In others, a parent may have been found unfit and had their parental rights terminated by a court.
In far many cases, a variety of factors have resulted in one biological parent becoming disengaged from the child's life, while at the same time the stepparent has become very involved. When that happens, the uninvolved parent may be willing to give up his or her parental rights voluntarily. If he or she refuses, there are a variety of strategies and options that may still be available.
What Legal Rights And Obligations Will I Gain Through Adoption?
Once an adoption is final, you have exactly the same parental rights and responsibilities as any parent. Your adopted child will have the exact same rights as if they were your biological child. Once you legally adopt your stepchild, you remain their legal parent even if you divorce.
Practically, that means the whole host of standard parental prerogatives, from picking up your child from school to authorizing medical treatment or applying for a passport on their behalf. At the same time, you will be legally obligated to provide financial support and a safe, nurturing environment.
Make Your Loving Parental Bond With A Stepchild Permanent: Call Today
If you are considering adoption, a lawyer from Huckabee, Weiler, & Levengood, P.C., would be happy to answer your questions. We invite you to contact our office in Shillington toll free at 610-378-1933 or fill out this email form. We will respond to your call or email promptly.