Where stepparent adoptions are concerned, consent from the biological parent of a child must be given for the child’s stepparent to adopt them legally. However, there are circumstances that bypass this step. For example, if the biological parent has had their legal rights terminated due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, consent is not needed. You should obtain the assistance of an adoption attorney if you have difficulty obtaining consent. With Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. on your side in Clearwater, you can relax knowing you are in capable hands.
Find Alternative Approaches
Generally, if you are unable to get the consent of the child’s biological parent, your stepparent adoptions cannot proceed. If the parent in question is involved in the child’s life, you must have their consent. There are different levels of involvement. Some biological parents are very willing to give consent for a stepparent adoption. Why? Because it means that they are no longer responsible for the child. Other biological parents object to giving their consent even though they are already estranged from the child or simply are not very close to the child. They often do not want to admit that adoption is in the child’s best interests or are concerned what their family and friends will think of them upon learning that they consented to the adoption of the child by a stepparent.
If the parent appears unwilling to sign a consent, there are alternatives that you can use. With the help of an attorney in Clearwater, you can pursue mediation. This process will bring a third party into the mix that will remain neutral. Ultimately, they facilitate a conversation and discussion between the parties to see where to find compromises.
Terminate the Parent’s Legal Rights
With the help of an attorney, you may be able to terminate the other parent’s legal rights over the child without their consent. The only way to have their rights terminated, however, is if there is a legitimate reason. You must be able to prove that they are unfit, whether that means they have abused, abandoned, or neglected the child. Those are legal terms that are specifically defined in Florida Statutes. A lawyer in Clearwater can go over possible arguments for termination to help you determine if you have a case.
Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. Helping Clearwater with Stepparent Adoptions
If you are interested in stepparent adoptions, contact the law firm of Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. Our firm has helped Clearwater residents with their family law needs for years, and we may be able to help you too. Obtaining parental consent is a hurdle for many stepparents who want to adopt their stepchild, but an adoption attorney will explain your options. Together, we will create a solid plan of action. For more information, give us a call today at our office.