Stepparent Adoption

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Phoenix Stepparent Adoption Lawyer

Stepparent adoptions are common in the state of Arizona. There are many instances where one of the biological parents has stepped out of the parenting picture, and a stepparent has truly stepped in to fill the void. Many children think of their stepparents just like biological parents and are deeply attached to this important person in their life.

In a stepparent adoption, you can gain legal parenting rights for a child that you live with and care for. This can be a very important aspect of protecting the child’s well-being and your own rights to be able to have a role in their life. At The Law Offices of Justin Fernstrom PLLC, we know just how important stepparent adoptions can be for children and families, and we specialize in these kinds of adoptions.

One out of every 25 US families with children have an adopted child. Stepparents are often the only parents that children know, and becoming the legal guardian and parent of these children can be very beneficial for everyone involved. You can join this group of people who are making a difference in the life of a child by reaching out to Stepparent Adoption Lawyer Justin Fernstrom today.

How Do I Start the Process For a Stepparent Adoption in Arizona?

The first step in the stepparent adoption process is to make sure that you are eligible to do so. There are specific requirements that must be met by everyone who is considering adoption in order for their application to be considered. You must be a resident of Arizona and be aged 18 or older. You must also be able to convince the court that you are fit and proper to adopt by having your background run, and a home/social study done that evaluates your ability to meet the needs of the child you seek to adopt.

In order to adopt a child, the child must be legally free for adoption and this is accomplished by the biological parent who would be losing the child in the adoption providing their written consent. In other cases you will need to seek a court order terminating the parental rights of the other parent. Children over the age of 12 must consent to the adoption. If they do not agree or consent to the adoption, it cannot be forced upon them.

If you have proper consent or if you need to move to terminate parental rights, Justin and his team can assist you. The team at the Law Office of Justin Fernstrom PLLC can help you with all of the necessary documents so that no steps are missed along the way. You need to be sure that you have not left out any of the essential information required to begin and finalize the adoption. Missed documentation and paperwork of other kinds can slow down the adoption process significantly.

Once your court documents and other required materials have been submitted, you will need to wait to have a hearing scheduled with a judge in your county. In most cases, once all the background materials have been gathered, the final adoption hearing can usually be held within 90 days of the filing of your petition to adopt.

Once the adoption is final, you can apply for copies of the amended birth certificates for the child involved. These documents will replace the original certificates that listed the biological parent on them..

How Long Does a Stepparent Adoption Take in Phoenix?

Adoptions can take a very long time if you work with a private agency. If you have missed any documentation, this can also slow down the process. Making sure that you are working with a skilled legal advisor can help you avoid common pitfalls and slow down your adoption efforts.

What Are the Requirements for Stepparent Adoption?

In the state of Arizona, many people incorrectly believe that you must be married for at least one year prior to being allowed to adopt, and that is not the case. If you are married for less than one year, the court simply requires some additional background information to be done. If the child is over 12 years of age, the child must also consent to be adopted. Same-sex couples can absolutely adopt as stepparents in the state of Arizona.

All applicants will need to pass a DCS (commonly referred to as CPS) central registry records clearance check and get fingerprint clearance cards (or have the results of a fingerprint card submitted to the department of public safety in Arizona provided to the court for review) to adopt. The minor child must attend the hearing for the adoption but in some limited circumstances, the court may waive the child’s presence.

Justin is an experienced stepparent adoption lawyer and is here to help you navigate the adoption process successfully so that you can complete your forever family. We know this information by heart and can help advise you about the conditions for adoption that you must meet in order to start the legal process.

How do I Find the Best Attorney To Help With Stepparent Adoption?

Working with the right stepparent adoption lawyer is key to a smooth and stress-free adoption experience. This is always the most ideal way to handle the process so that children and families are spared upheaval and fears about the legal status of the child. Justin and his team ensure that this process is as smooth and expedited as it can be. Justin knows what is at stake and he has been working in this area for over a decade now. Working with the team at the Law Office of Justin Fernstrom PLLC will make the adoption process much easier on you and your family.

If you have been worried that you will not be able to navigate the stepparent adoption process without guidance, put your mind at ease. We can help you to take care of every step of the stepparent adoption documentation and make sure that your stepchild becomes your legal child. We can offer you the peace of mind that your adoption case is in the best hands from start to finish.

At the Law Office of Justin Fernstrom PLLC, we take the welfare of children very seriously, and we are experts in these types of adoption cases. Reach out to us today and schedule a consultation so that you can become the legal parent of your beloved stepchild as soon as possible.