Understanding the Step-Parent Adoption Process

The Process of Step-parent Adoption

There are a number of complex issues that come up when it comes to step parent adoption. It is first and foremost, very important for a step-parent to make an analysis in order to ascertain whether or not he/she has fulfilled all the requirements that are needed in order to adopt the child in question. The laws provided by the state of Florida, a step parent may only adopt a child under the following conditions:

i. Upon obtaining the consent of the child’s biological parent.

ii. Upon the court finding that such an adoption would be in the child’s best interest or good cause has been established due to the fact that the biological parent who happens to be the step parent’s spouse fails to give consent or join in the petition.

Upon ensuring that all grounds for step parent adoption have been fulfilled, the next step that ought to be undertaken by the step parent is to file a petition. If both the spousal biological parent and the step parent are in agreement with regards the adoption, then the parties shall thereafter be required to use Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1). This is a form that makes it necessary for the step parent who intends to become the child’s natural parent by means of adoption to provide the following information for purposes of the adoption process:

 The names of the petitioners

 The names of the children to be adopted

 Each child’s date of birth and place of birth

 A statement providing how long the stepparent has lived with the child or children

 The stepparent’s reason for wanting to adopt the child

 The home address of the stepparent

 The stepparent’s relation to the child’s parent

 The name of any other parent whose consent is required.

Additional documents that shall be required in order to validate the petition are inclusive of the following documents:

 A certified copy of each child’s birth certificate

 A completed UCCJEA affidavit

 Copies of judgments terminating parental rights, if any

 Documentation for any interviews held with the children.

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