Guiding Families Through Stepparent Adoptions
My name is Amanda Mason-Sekula, and one of my favorite parts of my job is when I am approached by a stepparent who wishes to become the legal adoptive parent of their stepchildren. It is so fulfilling to watch a family be created. By helping people understand their rights and responsibilities as adoptive parents and avoid potential pitfalls in the adoption process, I am able to help bring families together.
Understanding Adoptive Parents’ Rights
From a legal standpoint, adoptive parents are treated the same as biological parents. This includes carrying adopted children on their health insurance and making important decisions concerning their child’s life, such as decisions surrounding medical care or education. Probate laws also treat adopted children and biological children as equals, meaning that adopted children inherit money and assets from an estate when someone dies just as biological children do.
If the child you would like to adopt is over the age of 14, then you will need that child’s consent.
Adoption For Same-Sex/LGBTQ+ Couples
Although same-sex couples have made great strides in matters concerning marriage, they still face unique challenges in family court. While international adoption from some countries is not possible for same-sex couples, there are usually options available for U.S.-based couples. I provide guidance and counsel to people in the LGBTQ+ community to help them set up stepparent adoptions.
The Rights Of Non-Petitioning Parents
In stepparent adoptions, the parental rights of the non-petitioning parent have to be addressed. Sometimes, the rights of that parent have to be terminated. This can be done on a voluntary basis, but in some instances, involuntary termination is necessary.
An involuntary termination of parental rights is appropriate when the non-petitioning parent will not consent, but there are statutory grounds to terminate. When the stepparent adopts the child and the non-petitioning parent’s rights are terminated, that means that they are no longer responsible for paying child support. They also lose all other rights and responsibilities regarding that child.
To Learn More About The Adoption Process, Contact Me Today
I am always honored to guide stepparents through the adoption process to become legally adoptive parents. If you are ready to start the adoption process, contact me to set up a consultation by calling 763-515-9305 or filling out my online contact form.