Not surprisingly, one of the most common forms of adoption is a stepparent adoption. Quite often your spouse's child has come to view you as his mommy or daddy. When we do a stepparent adoption, this creates a permanent legal bond and child-parent relationship making the stepparent the same as the biological parent in the eyes of the law
For a stepparent adoption to occur, one of the biological parent's rights must be terminated. This is possible when a biological parent has either voluntarily relinquished their rights or they have been terminated by the State due to abandonment, abuse/neglect or being deemed as an unfit parent. Quite often the "missing parent" simply agrees to sign a consent, hoping to save future child support payments . . . or you can ask for a finding of abandonment they have not visited, called or supported the child in years (minimum of 6 months) and the court then is asked to terminate their rights. Termination of one's parental rights is taken very seriously by the Courts so there must be good cause for a parent's rights to be terminated or relinquished. Failure to pay child support is rarely enough.
The Court has two big decisions to make in such an adoption: (1) is it in the best interest of the child to terminate the rights of the missing parent, and (2) is it in the best interest of the child to be adoptioned. If so, the adoption is usually granted to the stepparent, and he or she is now recognized as the adoptive parent with all the rights and obligations of a real biological parent.
Bob Noone can answer in more detail questions you may have regarding stepparent adoptions ~ you can reach Bob by EMAIL or by phone: