Consent counts when adopting a stepchild
Your spouse had a child before you married them, but now they’re your child too. The only thing you want to do is make your family official.
Adopting a stepchild, known as intrafamily adoption in Louisiana, is the most common type of adoption. There a few steps to the application process, but consent from everyone involved can be one of the biggest hurdles. Knowing all the forms of approval you’ll need will help in establishing your guardianship.
Consent may need to come from several involved parties before the court considers your application:
- From the child: The child might need to provide consent if they are over the age of 12.
- From the court: The court will usually conduct a background check, investigate your health records or perform an in-home visit before they approve your request.
- From the other parent: Parental rights will have to be given up by the non-custodial parent. This can be a simple process of receiving consent, or a more complicated process of asking the court to terminate parental rights.
When their other parent doesn’t want to relinquish their rights, your application isn’t without hope. The process just might need a few additional steps. There are a few cases in which the court could remove the need for consent from a biological parent by removing their parental rights:
- Abandonment, lack of contact
- Lack of financial support
- Abuse or neglect
Once the state strips them of their rights as a parent, they may no longer protest your adoption or have any say in the life of the child. This will open the way for you to apply to be the second legal parent to your stepchild.
Getting approval can be a long process. Make sure you prepare for any obstacles that may be involved and know the permission requirements to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. This can go a long way toward having the state recognize the family you’ve become.