en a parent gets enters into a new marriage and the other parent is no longer involved in the child’s life the topic of a stepparent adoption sometimes comes up. The stepparent and child may already be living a parent-child relationship and the parties may want to formalize that relationship.
A stepchild adoption in Texas follows the same general procedure as a regular adoption. A child can only have two parents, so first there must be a termination of one of the biological parent’s rights. The termination can be based on things such as abandonment, failure to support or if the parent signs a Voluntary Affidavit of Relinquishment of Rights. Second, the adoption process is completed which includes the filing of the petition to adopt, criminal background check, and completion of a social study.
When handling a stepparent adoption, the parent who is no longer in the picture may be willing to sign the affidavit of relinquishment which can speed up the process of termination. Additionally, the process of a social study can be done quicker because the child is already living with the stepparent. The person performing the social study can get a pretty clear view of the relationship between the parties and how the child does in the stepparent’s home.
Parties should be aware that an adoption is always a serious and important decision. Parents should speak with an attorney to make sure that they understand all of the legal consequences of both the termination of parental rights and the adoption itself.
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