What are some of the special issues that arise in stepparent adoptions?
Houston, TX Family Law Attorney Michael Hiller talks about certain issues that arise usually in stepparent adoptions.
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So in stepparent adoptions, which is the most frequent kind of adoption that most family lawyers get involved in, when they’re through an agency then the agencies have their own adoption lawyers. But private adoption is normally going to be stepparent adoption. So the issues that arise there is normally the parent needs to be married for six months, the stepparent before you would even consider that kind of adoption. And usually it’s quite a bit longer so the timeframe usually is not a factor. But you need to look at everything about that person and know do they have CPS findings against them in the past; is there a history of drug abuse or criminal history that hasn’t been disclosed? Is there a history of marriages that you didn’t tell your spouse about?
So the main thing is there’s going to be a pretty thorough investigation. There’s going to be a social worker that looks at everything. There’s going to be a person appointed to represent the child. There’s going to be someone to find the – often the spouse that had the child, usually, is usually going to be the woman, they have had the child out of wedlock or from a previous marriage, and there’s got to be a termination of rights. So you have to know where to find this person, usually the father or at least have some information because the courts going to appoint someone to find them if you don’t know where they are.