f you’re considering stepparent adoption when the other parent is deceased, it’s crucial to understand the legal procedures involved. This situation is different from cases where both biological parents are alive but one is absent. In this article, we’ll guide you through the specific steps you need to take.
Typically, stepparent adoptions occur when one biological parent has little to no involvement in the child’s life. In such cases, the stepparent who has been acting as a parent can move to formalize their role. To do this, you first need to terminate the absent parent’s rights. This starts by serving them a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights.
Once served, the absent parent has two options: they can either fight the action in court or agree to it by filing an affidavit. If contested, a judge will make the final decision during a trial.
Stepparent Adoption After the Loss of a Parent:
But what if one parent has passed away? In this situation, the surviving parent’s spouse can initiate the adoption process without terminating the deceased parent’s rights. The same process applies, but with one additional requirement: you must file the deceased parent’s death certificate alongside the Petition for Adoption.
It’s worth noting that the child’s right to inherit from the deceased parent remains unchanged even after the adoption by the new spouse.
By understanding these special considerations, you can navigate stepparent adoption when the other parent is deceased with greater confidence and clarity.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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