Stepparent adoption can be a wonderful thing. However, you must take specific legal actions to make your stepchild your legal child. Before adopting a stepchild, you have minimal legal responsibilities to take care of them. After, you must provide for the child as your own.
If you want to adopt your partner’s child as your own, continue reading to learn more about the process and pitfalls some people face. Remember, Louisiana courts always act in the child’s best interest, so if you believe adopting the child is for their benefit, you have a good chance of succeeding.
Consent of the biological parent
Before you adopt your stepchild, you must reach out to the biological parent. According to the Louisiana state legislature, the parent must sign a contract that confirms they consent to the adoption. If they do not agree, you might not be able to adopt the child. However, the court might terminate the parental rights under certain circumstances.
The child’s best interest
Parental rights become waived if the biological parent does not communicate, support or maintain a presence in the child’s life for six months. Even if the birth parent is active in the child’s life, the court might rule in favor of the adoption if it is in the child’s best interest.
Once you receive consent or terminate the biological parent’s parental rights, you can proceed with the hearing. If the child is 12 years old, the court also considers their input. Usually, there is no home inspection unless the child’s well-being becomes an issue. After the court determines an adoption to benefit the child, they make a decree of adoption, and you expand your family.