McCoy Fatula
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How Stepparent Adoption Works

Stepparent adoption is one of the legal processes that can bring a family together. This is an often joyous occasion as a stepparent has decided to legally take on the role of parent to his or her stepchild. However, there is still red tape that has to be crossed as California has certain requirements that must be met and approved through the family court system.

The Two Paths a Stepparent Can Take Towards Adoption

There are two major paths a stepparent adoption case can take. This all depends on how you and your family answer two questions. The first question is whether the stepparent was married to the birthparent at the time of the child's birth. The second question is whether the stepparent and birthparent are still legally married. If you are able to answer yes to both of these questions, the issue moves from just adoption to adoption to confirm parentage. Why is this a big deal? Your stepparent adoption case will not require a social worker's investigation of the home. In addition, you will not have to go to court or a hearing.

However, if you answered no to one of the questions then your stepparent adoption case will be a little more complex. You will have to go to court for an adoption hearing. Furthermore, your case will require a social worker's investigation. This should not discourage you as a stepparent as this can still be a smooth process.

What can really help with either situation is to have an experienced stepparent adoption lawyer at your side to help you. You never know what bumps in the road there may be and it is better to have legal counsel from the beginning with someone who can understand your family's specific needs.

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