Modern families are more complicated, blended and extended than they have ever been.  Some people find themselves in situations where letting go opens them up for new opportunities and love.  This can mean finding someone new after a divorce and falling in love with the right person for you.  As relationships grow, so does the desire to make family connections official by law.  If your new partner has children from a previous marriage, adopting your step-children may be the right decision for you.  As a stepparent, you understand the love and guidance you can provide to these children.  There are some differences between adopting a child, and how a step-parent can adopt a child in Utah.

I want to adopt my stepchildren, what should I do?

Going through the legal process can take some time and patience.  It is important that you speak with a Salt Lake City family lawyer to provide guidance and advice.  One of the major differences when adopting stepchildren is that the child must live with the custodial parent, and the step-parent for at least 1 year before the process can begin.  There also needs to be written consent or waiver by the other biological or non-custodial parent for the adoption to move forward.  This, of course, is not the case should that parent be deceased or has had their custody rights previously revoked by law.  Unfortunately, if they refuse to sign the waiver it may be necessary to go to court to resolve the issue.  The main determining factor will be what is in the best interest of the child.

Why should I adopt my step-child?

In many ways, this is an emotional decision.  Having an official adoption can help tighten the family and confirm the relationship in new ways.  Much like a marriage does for couples that are in love.  It can help establish the intentions of the stepparent to the children by showing them that they care.  This legal procedure also establishes new rights for the parent and will treat them the same as the biological parent.  This means the step-parent will be able to make medical decision on behalf of the child.  This includes other factors such as schooling, where they live and makes inheritance easier to establish in the future.

Find a Salt Lake City adoption attorney in Salt Lake City

Once the correct documentation is filed for the adoption, the court will schedule the hearing. Bear in mind if the non-custodial mom or dad interferes it will lengthen the process by at least one month at the minimum.  The overall timeframe depends on the specific conditions of your case and the parties involved.  If you are considering adopting your stepchildren we invite you to contact Burton Family Attorneys at (801) 393-1106 or schedule an appointment online.

Disclaimer: Using this site or communicating with Burton Family Attorneys through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising only. Do not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services providers. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter, you should consult your attorney or professional legal services, providers.