All children should grow up in homes where they are loved, cared for and safe. But sometimes, family strife can make it difficult for a child to live with both of his or her birth parents. And in certain circumstances, being adopted by a stepparent is the best possible option.

In order for a stepparent to legally adopt a child, the other birth parent must give his or her consent. If all goes well, the other parent will recognize that it is in the best interests of the child for the adoption to take place. But on occasion, the other parent may be resistant to the idea because it means relinquishing all parental rights.

There are avenues available if you are having difficulty getting consent from the other parent. For example, in situations where other parent’s parental fitness is in question, a state can typically hold what is called a “fitness hearing.”  The court may not require consent for adoption if it finds the other parent is unfit due to such issues as being neglectful, being abusive or having substance abuse problems.

Additionally, the other parent’s parental rights may be revoked if it is proven that he or she abandoned the child. In proving abandonment, it must be shown that the other parent did not provide monetary support for the child or communicate with the child over a prolonged period of time.

Whether you are able to easily get the other parent’s consent or you are in a protracted battle, a Colorado family law attorney can help you through the stepparent adoption process. The attorney could assess your situation and offer advice on the best approach to seeking full parental rights.