When you are a stepparent, it can take awhile to build a strong relationship with the children of your spouse. Over time, you can become very close with them, eventually becoming a parent figure in their lives. You, your spouse and even your stepchildren may reach a point where you all want to formalize your relationship through adoption.

Stepparent adoption can be a complex process, even if you all want to go through with it. This is because the children have another biological parent. He or she still has a say in what happens with the children, even if that parent does not have custody. It will be helpful for your family to learn more about what this process entails and how you can accomplish your goals.

What has to happen?

A critical factor in a stepparent adoption case is the other biological parent relinquishing his or her parental rights. In order for you to become the legal parent of your spouse’s children, the other parent must agree to give up his or her legal right to have a say in what happens to the children. As you can imagine, this is not an easy decision for a parent to make. It can also be complicated in situations where the parent is not present in the child’s life.

If the biological parent is not present, it will not be possible for him or her to relinquish parental rights. However, you can petition a court to move forward with this in certain circumstances. Reasons why a court may do this include the following:

  • The parent is behind bars.
  • There is a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • The parent abused or neglected the child.

Every situation is different, but the court will ultimately give preference to what is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the role the biological parent plays in the life of your stepkids.

Help for your family

A good place to start with the stepparent adoption process is to simply reach out for guidance from an experienced Colorado family law attorney. Starting with an assessment of your case, you can learn about what it will take to complete the adoption process. This can be a complex and sensitive matter, but with the right help, you will have a greater chance of achieving your goals.