Tag: Step Parent Adoption

How Can I Adopt My Stepchild?

You may be a stepparent that has helped your spouse, the biological parent, raise your stepchild and now you wish to formalize that relationship through adoption. This means that child would now be your own, legally.

In order for a stepparent to adopt a child, the other biological parent’s parental rights must be terminated. In some cases, this may be done by that biological parent consenting to the adoption. If the consent is not given, then the parental rights must be terminated based upon proof of one of the grounds for termination as allowed by Tennessee law. Once the termination takes places, the stepparent adoption can proceed.

Family Law, Kane Law, Step Parent Adoption

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job often entails helping Step-parents and/or Grandparents or other family members adopt.

The adoption process can certainly be complicated, however, in some cases, if a birth parent consents, the adoption can be handled very quickly.

In Wilson County, Smith County and Macon County, Step-parents and certain other family members can usually have adoptions approved without a six month waiting period or a home study. The law allows the Judge to waive those requirements in certain circumstances where the adoption is between family members.

In many cases, the law requires the biological and/or legal parent to consent to the adoption. In other cases, their actions will cause them to have their rights terminated and once this termination becomes final, the adoption can be granted.

Both types of adoptions can be handled quickly and efficiently.

If we have a consent to the adoption, we prepare the legal paperwork for the consenting parent to sign and within a matter of days, try to get in front of the Judge to approve the adoption.

In other cases, where a parent won’t consent to the adoption, but they have not visited or paid support for several months, we will serve that parent with a Petition for Termination and Adoption and move for default against them. Thereby, terminating their rights and asking the Court to approve the adoption.

The Wilson County, Smith County and Macon County Judges, in both Circuit and Chancery Court, can approve these adoptions.

In fact, both Judge Byrd and Chancellor Smith go out of their way to make the event a happy occasion. Clients are encouraged to bring family to Court to celebrate the big day.  Photos and video tapes are welcome by the Judges. And the Judges will often pose with the family after the adoption as well.

Court can often not be a happy place but on this occasion, it certainly is for our clients, the lawyers on hand and the Judges.  

Adoption of a Family Member, Birth Parent Consent, Step Parent Adoption

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