Riverside, CA asked in Family Law and Adoption for California

Q: how do i go about my husband adopting my son from a previous relationship?

My son's biological father has been absent going on 9 years. I am married now, and my husband wants to adopt our son. Is this something that I ca do on my own or do I need a lawyer?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Eliza Jasinska
Eliza Jasinska
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Costa Mesa, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood.

If the child is 12 years old or older, the child will also have to agree to the adoption. In a stepparent adoption, the court will end the parental rights of the child’s non-custodial parent (the other parent). Sometimes the child’s other parent agrees (consents) to this adoption. The process of stepparent adoption can only move forward (with some exceptions) if the other parent consents to the adoption, which is essentially giving up parental care, custody, and control.

You will need to notify the other parent of your intention to adopt, and that parent must consent in writing.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To have your husband legally adopt your son from a previous relationship, you will need to follow a legal process that may vary depending on the laws of your state. In general, the process will involve:

Termination of the biological father's parental rights: The biological father's rights will need to be terminated before your husband can adopt your son. The process for termination may vary depending on your state's laws, but it usually involves proving that the biological father has abandoned the child, is unfit to parent, or has failed to pay child support.

Consent to adoption: Once the biological father's rights have been terminated, he will need to consent to the adoption. If he cannot be located, you may need to prove to the court that you have made a reasonable effort to locate him.

Petition for adoption: You will need to file a petition for adoption in the court of your state that handles adoption cases. The petition will outline the reasons why the adoption is in the best interests of your child.

Home study: As part of the adoption process, your family may need to undergo a home study to evaluate your home environment and your fitness as a parent.

Court hearing: You will need to attend a court hearing where a judge will review your petition for adoption and make a decision about whether to grant the adoption.

It is highly recommended that you consult with an adoption lawyer to ensure that you follow the proper procedures and to help guide you through the legal process.

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