A modern family no longer has a “typical” dynamic. There are so many different ways to be a family, and the law is finally starting to recognize that. If you marry and your spouse has children from a previous relationship, you may be interested in legally adopting them. In Clearwater, plenty of families want to be officially united thanks to this process.
The Stepparent Adoption Process
In many states, the stepparent adoption process is actually simpler than others. Some steps can be waived, depending on your situation, but in general, it goes as follows:
- Visit an attorney to discuss your eligibility. Some Clearwater families believe they are eligible for this process and go through many of the steps only to discover, after much trial, that they are in fact not There are guidelines for eligibility in Florida Statutes 63.042, but an attorney can take stock of your specific situation.
- File for the adoption. You need to submit a petition to the circuit court of the county you live in (Pinellas County, for those who live in Clearwater) requesting the legal change.
- Have the biological parent give their consent. Determining if this step is required can be a complicated issue, and one that can vary from case to case, so consulting a lawyer with stepparent adoption experience is in your best interest. It may save you time and hassle.
- Gather your documents and files. You will need records such as the child’s birth certificate and social security cards, just to be on the safe side, as well as the stepparent’ You will also need the adoption petition and the written and signed consent of the biological parent (not the spouse of the stepparent) if required.
- Give notice to involved parties. Anyone who might be interested or involved in the union must be informed of the date and time of the hearing in Clearwater.
- Attend the hearing. Here, the papers will be signed, and if the biological parent’s rights have not already been terminated, they will now do so.
After the stepparent adoption is finalized, you may be able to acquire a new birth certificate for the child with the new legal changes.
Adoption Attorney Julie Beth Jouben, Esq.
Stepparent adoption can be a confusing process, but in the end, ever so rewarding. At Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. we are proud to offer our services to the Clearwater area where we can unite families and help make their legal matters go as smoothly as possible. Whether you need a family lawyer, or you have questions about immigration law, Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. may be able to help. For additional information about our office’s services or to schedule a consultation with an attorney, contact us today at 727-449-9929.