As part of our adoption services, we represent intended parents in both traditional stepparent adoptions as well as in streamlined stepparent adoptions to confirm parental rights (confirmatory adoptions).
Stepparent adoptions involve the adopting parent establishing legal parentage to his or her spouse’s child:
- Creates a legal relationship between the child and adopting parent so that he/she may make medical and other important decisions for the child
- May require that the child’s other biological parent relinquish parental rights to the child prior to the adoption
- The process may be less involved and costly than a traditional adoption
Confirmatory adoptions are intended largely to confirm the parental rights of the non-biological/non-gestational parent of children born to married same-sex couples:
- Does not typically require a home study or court hearing to establish the adopting parent’s parental rights
- Applies to couples who were married at the time of the child’s birth, who remain married at the time of the petition for adoption, and where one spouse gave birth to the child or had the child through surrogacy
- Provides a belt and suspenders approach to establish the rights of the non-biological/non-gestational parent even though the marital presumption might allow that their name be placed on the child’s birth certificate
Stepparent adoption is a great way to ensure the rights of both parties raising the child. While a non-biological/non-gestational parent may already appear on the child’s birth certificate, they may lack protection if their marital rights are not universally recognized. A valid, final adoption order creates permanence and security both for the adopting parent as well as the child.