There are many ways to expand a family, and this may be something you hope to do one day with your spouse’s biological children. Over time, the bond you have with your stepchildren has developed into something special, and you love and care for your stepkids as if they were your own. You may be hoping to take the legal steps necessary to solidify this bond through adoption.

Stepparent adoption is an exciting step for many Colorado families, but there could be a few challenges in your way. To complete this process, the termination of parental rights is required. As you can imagine, this can be complicated, which is why many people find it beneficial to have legal help along the way.

What has to happen?

The most complex aspect of stepparent adoption is the termination of parental rights. Even if the kids want you to adopt them and your spouse wants the same thing, the other biological parent still has rights. This means he or she can still say no to the adoption process, meaning that parent will have to willingly agree to relinquish parental rights. Some parents will be opposed to this, especially if they try to be present and active in the lives of their kids.

If the other parent is not around to speak on this issue, you may be able to petition the court to move forward with the termination of parental rights anyway. You will have to provide proof of the parent’s absence, lack of financial support and other things for the court’s consideration. The court may also grant your request if the other parent is unfit due to alcohol dependency, drug problems, incarceration and other problems that prevent positive parenting.

Pursuing your family law goals

Adoption may be the right way forward for your family, but it could prove rather daunting to undertake this process alone. If you would like to learn more about how you can adopt your stepchildren, you may find it helpful to seek the help and guidance of an experienced family law attorney.

A thorough assessment of your case and explanation of the options available to you can help you understand how and when you may be able to meet your goal of legally formalizing the relationship you have with your stepkids.