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Stepparent Adoption

Adoption in Modesto, California

Under the California Family Code, stepparents can adopt children under specific guidelines and rules. Adopting a stepchild allows the non-biological parent to obtain all rights and regulations of a parent-child relationship and the biological parent, if living, is freed from all obligations to the child including child support and custody. If you are a stepparent considering filing for adoption of your stepchild, then it is important that you contact a Modesto adoption attorney from Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated as soon as possible.

In order to legally adopt a child, the child's biological parent must first consent to the adoption. If both biological parents are still alive, the non-custodial parent must agree that the stepparent will take on the full responsibility for the child. In certain circumstances, a court order can be necessary to help a stepparent adopt from a biological parent under specific circumstances as outlined in Family Code §§8604-8606 (2012). It is important to note that the following will be taken into consideration by the Court:

  • That you are at least ten years older than the child you are trying to adopt;
  • You are legally married or in a recognized domestic partnership within the state of California to the child's biological parent;
  • The child's legal parents must consent or a court order must be provided;
  • If the child is over the age of 12, they too must consent to the adoption.

If you are considering adopting, it is important you work with our team. We can help you navigate the laws concerning adoption and file your adoption paperwork correctly. Children can suffer undue stress when there are unresolved legal issues related to a stepparent adoption, and you want to ensure that all aspects of the case are handled with skill and will not lead to any delays or problems. With the guidance of our family law attorneys, you may be able to have your stepchild adopted with less stress and uncertainty to you or your family.

There are a large number of forms and documentation that must be submitted correctly, including Judicial Council forms, state agency forms, and Sacramento County Superior Court forms. In cases in which a biological parent will not agree to the adoption, there will be the added requirement to submit several pleadings that are written to ask the Court to terminate the biological parent's parental rights. It is not a simple matter to terminate parental rights, and the Court will expect compelling supporting evidence in order to agree. At our firm, we are skilled in drafting these crucial pleadings, and if you are in this situation, we can help you to move your request for stepparent adoption forward.

When ones becomes the legal parent of a child, there are many responsibilities - the responsibilities that every parent has. These include the same rights and obligations of any legal parent, including custody, inheritance, and the potential of future obligations for child support should the marriage or domestic partnership come to an end, as well as liability for any willful misconduct by the child.

Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated can help you!

At our firm, we understand that family is important, and when you are want to make a child a permanent member of your family, you can trust our team to help you. We are a Modesto-based family law firm that provides our clients with comprehensive and reliable representation for their family law cases. Contact our team today to speak with an attorney and to schedule a free case evaluation, whether you are located in Modesto or a surrounding area.

Fees and Payments

Here at Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated, when it comes to fees and payments, we strive to be flexible with clients who are seeking legal representation. We offer payment arrangements, flat fee contracts, and traditional retainer agreements. We understand legal representation is necessary for all, and yet difficult for most to pay the fees all at once. Although we cannot guarantee that everyone will be able to hire us, we do promise to do what we can to make it possible for you to hire one of our attorneys to represent you.