Learn how stepchild adoption works in Arizona.
It’s very common for stepparents in combined families to think about adopting a stepchild in order to obtain enforceable parental rights. This can be done, but does require cooperation from all parties involved, including the stepchild’s biological parents.
How to Adopt a Stepchild in Arizona
The biological parent must first relinquish his or her parental rights in order to have a stepparent adopt a child in Arizona. When biological parents consent to this type of adoption, they can voluntarily terminate their parental rights.
In extreme circumstances, parental rights can sometimes be involuntary terminated.
The Benefits of Stepchild Adoption in Arizona
When a stepparent adopts a stepchild, this is a strong family connection that can bring combined families even closer. But it’s also a way for the stepparent to receive legal responsibilities of the child just as natural parents would.
After adoption, stepparents have just as much of a financial and personal obligation to care for the child and provide for his or her basic needs. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, so before requesting that the biological parent relinquish his or her rights, the stepparent must weigh the decision carefully.
The Stepchild Adoption Process & Stepparent Rights
Once the decision has been made to adopt a stepchild, the natural parent must complete a “Consent to Adopt” form, and the stepparent and other natural parent must complete a “Petition to Adopt” form. If there are no issues with consent or other requirements, the adoption will be legally granted.
Simplify the Adoption Process
Adopting a stepchild is a complicated process, and though the paperwork may seem simple, it represents a complex legal action that can be easily mismanaged. To avoid complications and simplify the process, you can hire an attorney that specializes in adoption.
Mesa and Gilbert family law attorneys Tim Durkin and Jon McAvoy can do just that. When you’re ready to make adoption easier on you and your family, call JacksonWhite at (480) 467-4348 to schedule a consultation.