An adoption action the legal process whereby an adult who is not biologically related to a child acquires all the rights and responsibilities as if the child was naturally that parent's. Once an adoption is finalized, the adopting parent is obligated to love and support the adopted child as the child was that parent's own biological child.
There are two types on adoptions: step-parents adoptions and independent adoptions. The most type of adoption is when a step-parent assumes the role of the natural parent. This is commonly called a step-parent adoption.
In these types of cases, one of the parents is already the natural parent of the child, and only the step-parent is adopting the child. At the end of the adoption process, one of the natural parents still has rights over the child, one parent's rights are terminated, and the step parent steps into the shoes of the parent whose rights were terminated.
If the step-parent later divorces the natural parent, both parents are treated equally, and neither parent will be given preference in awarding custody. Each parent must also support that child.
A step-parent adoption requires the filing of a lawsuit in either Riverside or Hemet. Once the lawsuit is filed, a home study will be conducted, and the natural parent whose rights are being terminated have a chance to object. If the natural parent objects to the adoption, there is a trial. If the court determines it is in the child's best interest to be adopted, the step-parent's petition will be granted. Generally speaking, the process takes six to nine months.
Adoption proceedings are complicated and should not be attempted without the help of an experienced adoption attorney. If you are considering an adoption, you are welcome to contact our office to set up a free consultation.