In our world today, divorce is all around us. And because of that, the "blended" American family is becoming much more prevalent in our society. In many cases after a divorce, the people will eventually fall in love again and find new people to spend the rest of their life with, and many of these spouses are likely to have children already in the picture after a divorce and into the second marriage. A blended family means that one parent (or both) has children that they bring into their union, and in many cases this is beneficial for the children to have two parent figures in their home as they are growing up. While many divorces are done so amicably, allowing the children to have a strong relationship with both parents despite their marriage coming to an end, there are also family situations where this is not the case.
Perhaps you are a mother who just married your second husband, and you have two children already. For one reason or another, the father of the children is no longer in the picture, and after years of your new family you see the bond that your husband has with your children and you two discuss the options of wanting to have him officially adopt them as his own. As a stepparent, this process is often deemed easier than if you were seeking to adopt a child from outside the family, however the process can still be complicating. By contacting an experienced long Island family attorney at the The Meyers Law Group, P.C., you will be in good hands during this time.
In order to go through the process of stepparent adoption, there are a few qualifications that must be taken into consideration before the process can be officially done. First off, in order for the stepparent to legally adopt, there must be consent given by the birth parent. Unfortunately, if the other parent refuses to do so, and you are unable to prove that they are unfit as a parent in the life of the child, there is little else that can be done. If this is the case, you will have to prove that the biological parent is somehow incapable of caring for the child and that they are unfit to parent, they have failed to support the child, there was abandonment or otherwise labeled unfit.
What makes this so hard, particularly for the biological parent, is that by giving consent to have their child adopted by the stepparent, it means that they are forgoing all rights they have as a parent. This means that they will no longer have the right to visitation, or any decisions regarding the care and raising of the children. While this may be hard to grasp for some birth parents, many times they often understand that by allowing this to happen it is in the best interest of the children and therefore they will choose to sign over the consent. This is often the case if a parent realizes that they will not be able to offer the care or support the child needs, or that they want to be relieved of the pressure of having any type of parental responsibility.
If there is hesitation on behalf of the father, you may be able to prove that (for example) the father does not, by legal definition, meet the qualifications of a presumed father and therefore that can be your argument when seeking to have your new husband adopts your children. As stated, this process may be complicating, so contact our firm today for the legal representation you will need during this time!