For many parents, a stepparent adoption is the final step towards creating permanence in a family. If you are looking to legally adopt your stepchild in Kansas City, Michael Belfonte can assist you.
Stepparent adoption is when an individual adopts his or her spouse’s biological child, and the parental rights of the noncustodial parent are terminated. The custodial parent, along with the child if he or she is old enough, will need to formally consent to the adoption, and the process will be completed in court.
To learn more about the details of stepparent adoption and Michael Belfonte’s legal services, read the sections below.
Why Complete a Stepparent Adoption?
You may be wondering if you truly need to go through the process of a stepparent adoption. After all, you and your child both know that you are a parental figure in his or her life.
However, it is highly recommended you legally complete a stepparent adoption for several reasons:
- Family stability – Completing the formal adoption process brings a sense of closure and finality to a family, especially the child, who will never have to feel uncertain.
- Financial security – As your legal child, your stepchild will be able to receive your insurance benefits and will be officially entitled to your inheritance.
- Protection of parental rights – If you are not a legal parent to your child, you may run into problems obtaining his or her medical records or even picking him or her up from school.
You are a parent to your stepchild in every other way. By going through the formal adoption process, you ensure that the bond between you and your child is legally recognized and secured.
Stepparent Adoption in Missouri and Kansas
When compared to other forms of adoption, a stepparent adoption doesn’t require as much effort from the adoptive family, such as home studies and extensive screening. However, stepparent adoption is still a legal process and does require an experienced adoption attorney.
If you work with Michael Belfonte on your stepparent adoption, he will take you through all of the necessary legal steps, including:
- Termination of parental rights and consent – In some cases, the noncustodial parent of the child must consent to the adoption. Michael will be able to walk you through the process of gaining consent or terminating the parental rights if consent is not needed.
- Completion of paperwork – Stepparent adoption requires a number of forms to document the transfer of parental rights, family members’ consent to the adoption, court approval, and more.
- Preliminary hearing and finalization – Michael will attend your preliminary court hearing as well as your adoption finalization to make sure everything is completed in accordance with Missouri or Kansas adoption law.
- Procurement of a new birth certificate – When the process is complete, you may wish to obtain a new birth certificate that shows the child’s name change (if you choose to change it) and lists you as the parent.
To get started with your stepparent adoption, or to get a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Michael Belfonte today.