DIVORCE

CUSTODY/VISITATION & SUPPORT

CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE LAW

Tampa Step Parent Adoption

Attorney Representation in Tampa, FL for over 40 years

Step parent adoption

If you are the only active biological parent in your child’s life and you have since remarried, you may be considering making the child’s step-parent take over as an official legal guardian. This decision can not only help make your family unit stronger, it can also help in any situation where you cannot be contacted about your child’s well-being. If you are considering step-parent adoption, please call a skilled Tampa family attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Step-parent adoptions are complex because, in most cases, the child already has two legal parents. This means that the parent that is not active in the child’s life will need to terminate his or her responsibilities to the child. For some uninvolved parents, this decision is easy because it means no longer having to pay child support, but some parent will not give up their rights so easily and others simply cannot be tracked down in order to get them to sign over their rights. When this occurs, your Tampa family lawyer will need to help you file for an involuntary termination of parental rights hearing in the state courts.

During a forced termination hearing, your Tampa family attorney will need to help you prove that the parent is no longer an active part of the child’s life and should no longer have legal rights to visit their son or daughter. During this period, it is best for your family to work together to strengthen your family bonds because the step-parent adoption process cannot begin until the child only has one legal guardian.

When the inactive parent has had their rights terminated, the step-parent will need to go through a similar process as all prospective adoptive parents in order to prove his or her fitness for being a parent. Once he or she is approved, the adoption process will begin. Your Tampa family lawyer can help you fill out all necessary paperwork to ensure the adoption goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.