Complete Your Family With A Stepparent Adoption
Divorce and remarriage are not unusual in the United States today. One of the most common scenarios involves a child from one of the parents’ first marriages, whose other biological parent is not involved in his or her life. But the new parents are creating a healthy, happy family life in which the child is growing deep bonds with the stepparent. When this happens, many families want to make their new family unit official through a stepparent adoption.
Shawn P. Hammond and Associates, in Augusta, Georgia, helps clients throughout the state with stepparent adoptions. Attorney Shawn Hammond has been handling adoption cases for more than 25 years. He knows the challenges involved with the process, and he can walk you through it to bring your family together through a stepparent adoption.
Consent From The Biological Parent
In some cases, the biological parent knows that they are not really present in the child’s life or, for some other reason, are not able to serve as a parent. In these situations, the biological parent is often willing to voluntarily consent. This means that they terminate their rights as parents, thus allowing for the stepparent adoption to proceed.
This is the simpler of the two possible paths for a stepparent adoption, but it is totally dependent on the biological parent. If that person refuses consent, there is little else you can do.
Termination Of Parental Rights
If the biological parent refuses consent, the remaining path forward is to prove that the biological parent is not fit to be a parent, thus having their parental rights terminated by the court. The court will only terminate a parent’s rights under extreme circumstances, and significant evidence must be established.
Some causes for termination of parental rights can include:
- Abandonment, when the biological parent has not contacted or attempted to contact the child in a long time
- A history of abuse
- Alcohol or other drug-related addiction issues
- Mental health issues
The process of proving the unfitness of a biological parent can be a trying, difficult experience. Shawn Hammond can help you through it and handle all the challenging details on the path to your adoption.
Other Adoption Issues
A stepparent adoption can involve various complex adoption issues. Shawn has likely seen it all, and he can help you. Call the firm at 706-993-2785 or email the firm to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with an experienced adoption lawyer.