Adoption of a stepchild can be smooth or challenging

The adoption process is one that brings a family together and creates a cohesive unit, both legally and emotionally for parents and children. When a step-parent wants to adopt the child of his or her spouse, there are several steps. Those steps will involve the biological parent and that alone can make the adoption process challenging in some cases in Pennsylvania.

The adoption process can occur in a smooth and timely manner if that biological parent is willing to give consent from the beginning of the process. This may be preferred by families as opposed to having to terminate parental rights first. The biological parent may be more apt to give permission if the advantages for the child are made clear and the financial advantages for that parent are outlined to him or her.

If obtaining agreement or permission for the adoption is not going to happen, as is the case sometimes, there has to be a termination of parental rights in order to move forward with the adoption. This cannot take place unless the parent has had no contact with the child for six months. Termination of parental rights can make the process longer and more complicated.

Each adoption case will vary in Pennsylvania. In fact, the process itself varies from county to county. This means it is imperative that any legal support acquired during the adoption process is a source that has the most up-to-date information. Our firm has more information online about adoption in general and about step-parent adoption in particular.