If you’re a proud stepparent, you already call your spouse’s children family. Parenting is more about love than labels, and you’ve already stepped up to the plate for your kids. Still, there are certain benefits that come with being a legally recognized parent; this prompts some stepparents to consider a stepparent adoption.
There are many misconceptions about stepparent adoption, so it’s extremely important to be informed about the process before proceeding. In this article, we’ll address three common myths and three realities about adopting your stepchildren.
Myth: Stepparent adoption is expensive.
Some people believe all adoptions must be expensive because they’ve heard of exorbitant fees for domestic and international adoptions. In reality, stepparent adoptions don’t come with excessive fees. It’s likely that your only costs will be fees paid to the court and to your Minnesota family law attorney, whose services are generally affordable.
Myth: You can’t adopt without the bio-parent’s consent.
If the second biological parent of your child is not involved in his or her life, you may be free to move forward with the adoption process. Depending on circumstances, the court can agree to hold a hearing to determine grounds for termination of parental rights, such as emotional unfitness, felony records, long-term addictions and abandonment of the children.
Myth: A stepparent adoption takes years to finalize.
With the assistance of a Minnesota family law attorney, you may complete your stepparent adoption in a matter of months. A contested adoption will generally take longer to finalize, but the process won’t drag on if you remain proactive and adequately prepare for your hearings in front of the judge.
Reality: Adoptive parents must pass a background check.
The courts like to see the results of a background check before granting a stepparent adoption. If you’re concerned about this component, discuss it with your Edina stepparent adoption lawyer to get more information about your specific case.
Reality: Speaking to children about adoption can help them adjust.
Even if you’ve been in your stepchild’s life for years, making things official through adoption can bring up some confusing emotions. Both parents should set aside time to regularly discuss the adoption with the child. Addressing any concerns your child may have will make it easier for them to adjust to the idea of the stepparent adoption.
Reality: Hiring a Minnesota stepparent adoption lawyer makes adoptions easier.
Your case may involve complex paperwork, court appearances, and technical issues. Minnesota adoption attorneys are used to overcoming these obstacles for their clients; your attorney will keep things moving forward during tough times when you might be confused or unsure.
If you’d like to pursue a stepparent adoption, either for legal reasons or simply to show your child how much they mean to you, family law attorney Willow Anderson can help. Schedule your family law consultation by calling (651) 334-3244, or learn more at Willow’s family law website.