Here at OMG Law Firm, we love working on adoption cases of all shapes and sizes. Previously on the blog, we discussed a few questions that can often come up during some types of adoption cases, but there are many more common questions surrounding adoption. Not all adoptions are simple and straightforward. Not all adoptions can be completed without the help of a family lawyer either. If you’ve found yourself in need of help that only a family lawyer can provide to gain custody of a child or finalize an adoption, turn to OMG Law Firm in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In the meantime, keep reading about common questions surrounding parental rights and stepparent adoptions below.
While a stepparent adoption is typically pretty straightforward, and we deal with many of them here at OMG Law Firm, there are questions that come up surrounding legalities with stepparent adoptions. So, what are some complications that can come up during a stepparent adoption that a family lawyer may have to help with?
Because a stepparent adoption terminates one biological parent’s rights, the adoption has to either be amiable or there must be just cause for the court to terminate those rights. A stepparent doesn’t simply gain rights by marrying a biological parent. Biological parents are always given legal priority. However, significant proof of negligence, abuse, or other problems could provide enough cause to terminate a biological parent’s rights to open up for a stepparent adoption. The main focus for the court is making rulings that are in the child’s best interests.
In addition to having to give up parental rights for a stepparent to adopt a child, that same parent’s financial obligations will also be terminated. Any child support that is being paid out will be stopped, minus end back payments, and in most situations, there is no need for a visitation agreement, though that may be an option worth exploring for you.
Another complication can simply be the process of finding a biological parent. In some cases, a biological father may be missing or unidentifiable. However, they still technically have legal rights as a parent, and these rights must be terminated by the courts after a reasonable attempt to notify the parent has been made.
In many cases, the easiest adoptions are ones made in family. These are stepparent adoptions and grandparent adoptions, or even aunts and uncles. However, these cases can get heated if the biological parent does not want to terminate their rights. Once again, this goes back to what is in the child’s best interest. If that means that a child should be raised by their grandparents for one reason or another, and these reasons can be proven, then there will be little question in the eyes of the court.
If you need help with any type of adoption, from a stepparent adoption to an international adoption, OMG Law Firm has the experience and fortitude to fight for you! Let us help you when you may need it most. Call us today for a free consultation.