Step Parent Adoption Lawyer – Knoxville, TN
Knox County Step Parent Adoption Attorney
In blended families, step-parents often want to adopt the child(ren) of their spouse to make their relationship official. Often times, step-parent adoptions are simpler and smoother than other types of adoption. To complete a step parent adoption, your spouse will need to consent, and you will need to either terminate the rights of the absent parent or get their consent. The absent parents often want to give up their rights since, once the step-parent adoption is completed, they will no longer be responsible for paying child support.
Biological ties do not always create strong families; love creates them. When a stepparent decides to adopt, he or she is making a deeper commitment to love, connect and provide for the child. While some biological parents will wish to retain their parental rights, there are times when a stepparent’s desire to adopt a child will be acceptable without objection. This lack of opposition is known as an uncontested adoption.
Stepparent adoptions are one of the most common types of adoption in Tennessee.
Common Reasons for Uncontested Stepparent Adoptions
A stepparent adoption may be uncontested for several reasons. Some of the most common involve a biological parent who is deceased or has not been involved in the child’s life for many years or has never been involved. Additionally, a parent may formally or informally volunteer to relinquish his or her parental rights. A parent may be categorized as an unfit parent with no legal parental rights due to extreme situations such as felony conviction, drug use, neglect, desertion, or abusive tendencies. Lastly some parents cannot be located despite numerous attempts to contact them.
Stepparent Adoption: How to Begin
Adopting a child is an emotional process for everyone involved. Being sensitive to your family’s needs and taking the necessary steps to ensure paperwork is in order will help you to build a strong foundation both now and in the years to come. Having a stepparent adopt your child is an easy process for you as a stepparent and your spouse as the birthparent, and it can be very meaningful for your child. Normally it is not necessary to conduct a home study. Relative adoptions may require additional steps, and each family situation is assessed individually. We can answer your questions about the process and explain how it will affect you.
Stepparent adoption requires that the non-custodial parent relinquish all legal rights to the child, either by consent or by termination. Non-custodial parents who are rarely involved in their child’s life are often willing to participate. Adopting a child is in the best interests of the child for some parents, while others wish to avoid child support payments. Non-involved parents may even sign as co-petitioners to show their support for the adoption.
A Parent-Child Relationship
The legal benefits of a parent-child relationship are all gained when a child is adopted by a stepparent or relative.
Some of these benefits include:
- The child’s right to inherit assets and property
- The child’s right to Social Security benefits should the stepparent die
- The child may take the same last name as the parents if they so wish
- You are able to make education, legal and medical decisions for the child
Additionally, the child will gain a sense of belonging, security, and love that lasts well beyond their 18th birthday.
Contact A Knox County Stepparent Adoption Lawyer For Help
No aspect of our practice is more rewarding for us than the conclusion of an adoption. Parents and children of adoptees often make an event of the adoption day, taking pictures with the judge and attorney. Adopting a child is a big step – make sure you understand your legal rights and what must be done to officially adopt the child. Stepparent adoptions can usually be done quickly, the completion of the process depends on the availability of the birth parent. Contact a Knoxville stepparent adoption lawyer for help and a free consultation.