Uncontested adoptions are often a straightforward process. However, when a stepparent chooses to adopt their stepchild with the support of their spouse and the child involved, there can be a little extra work involved and limitations on their rights.
As a stepparent who wants to adopt a stepchild you love, there are typically only four scenarios in which you can make that dream a reality for your family.
When the second biological parent has already died
Stepparent adoption can often involve complicated emotions, but it can be relatively simple when a stepparent wants to adopt the child whose other biological parent has died. There is no second parent to dispute the adoption or who will lose anything due to the stepparent adoption.
When the second parent of the child is unknown
Sometimes, through personal choices or as the result of criminal victimization, a woman may not know conclusively who the father of her child is. Florida law does require that adoption without a listed father on record consult the state’s registry of putative fathers to establish whether there is someone who has a connection to the child.
When the second biological parent agrees
If there is a living biological parent not currently playing an active role in the life of the child, that parent will need to approve the adoption. They will need to sign off on their rights, ending their parental relationship and allowing the stepparent to proceed with the adoption.
When the state terminated the rights of the second parent
Sometimes, a parent who is still alive does not have any legal rights or responsibilities related to their children. In cases of criminal activity and abuse, the state may terminate someone’s parental rights. You generally will not need the permission of the other biological parents after the state has taken such steps.
Pursuing an uncontested stepparent adoption can be beneficial for you and your entire family if it’s appropriate given your situation. Legal guidance can help the process go more smoothly.