When an Arizona parent remarries, it is likely that their new spouse may wish to become a legal parent of their partner’s children. While the adoption process itself is not as difficult as other adoptions, there are still certain requirements that must be met.
The biggest hurdle for stepparent adoption is that the stepparent must receive consent from the other birth parent prior to being eligible to adopt the children. When a birth parent gives consent for a stepparent to adopt the children, the birth parent is giving up all parental rights. While some birth parents do not have a relationship with their children, making it easier to obtain consent, others wish to continue to have a relationship and refuse to give consent.
The only exception to this is if the other birth parent has had their parental rights revoked due to neglect, failure to pay child support or abandonment. If a stepparent wishes to adopt the children for these reasons, they will need to provide the court with evidence. For example, a stepparent can show the court that the birth parent has not paid child support or has had no communication with the child for a certain period of time. They may also schedule a fitness hearing if they believe that the birth parent is unfit.
While a stepparent can seek child custody of their partner’s children, obtaining consent from the children’s other birth parent can be difficult. A family law attorney may assist the stepparent with providing evidence to the court that adopting the children is in the children’s best interest. The attorney may also aid the stepparent in providing evidence that the birth parent cannot or will not properly provide for the children.