When a stepparent is able to adopt his or her stepchild, it is a sign that the child is loved and desired. It can be very important for a child to feel that he or she is a part a family and the adoption may let the child know that his or her place in the household is secure.
The adoption process can also lend feelings of security to stepparents who will have legal rights to the children with whom they have become so attached.
In order for a stepparent to formally adopt a child, the child’s other birth parent must grant his or her consent. Sometimes, the other parent may resist granting consent because it means forfeiting parental rights.
What if a stepparent adoption is in the best interests of the child? Well, in certain circumstances, a court may be convinced to terminate a birth parent’s parental rights. However, the court must be given a compelling reason to take this action.
For example, if it can be proven that the other birth parent was negligent in carrying out his or her parenting duties by abandoning the child, that may motivate the court to terminate parenting rights.
Other possible grounds for terminating a birth parent’s rights may include the parent being abusive, neglectful, having substance or alcohol abuse issues or failing to financially provide for the child. Again, there must be evidence to support claims that the other birth parent is in some way unfit.
While there can be challenges to carrying out a stepparent adoption, the results will likely be worth the effort. Therefore, it may be extremely beneficial to solicit the services of a Colorado family law attorney who is experienced in handling adoption cases.