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The Basics of Adopting a Stepchild in California

Last updated 5 years ago

Adoption is the legal process that creates a parent-child status between two parties. The process provides adoptive parents and children with the same rights and obligations as biological parents and children. Continue reading to learn about the basics of adopting a stepchild in California.

Legal Implications

Before making the decision to adopt a stepchild, it is important to understand all of the legal implications that are associated with adoption. If you are a stepparent looking to adopt, you should know that the legal parent-child relationship will be severed with the other biological parent. That parent loses all rights and responsibilities for the child, and you will acquire these same obligations. Adoption is permanent, and it generally cannot be revoked or nullified. Your rights and responsibilities will not end if you and the child’s biological parent divorce.

Legal Requirements

There are a number of requirements you must be able to meet before proceeding with a stepparent adoption. First, you and the legal parent must be married or in a domestic partnership that is registered with the state. There are limited exceptions to this requirement, and you will need to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. In addition, as the adopting parent, you must be at least 18 years old and must also be at least 10 years older than the child. Finally, you must obtain the consent of several people. This list includes the child if he or she is 12 years or older, your spouse or domestic partner, and the child’s other legal parent.

If you are interested in adopting your partner’s child, contact Moreno Family Law. Our family lawyers can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the adoption process. Call our San Jose office today at (408) 266-9011 to schedule a consultation, and click on the link to go to our website if you would like to read more about our services.


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