Five Reasons To Hire An Attorney To Assist You In Adopting Your Stepchildren
If you are married and have a stepchild, you may be thinking about adopting him or her. There are many good reasons for doing. And adoption can help to strengthen a family's bond. It shows a commitment to your stepchild that provides him or her with a feeling of security, but there are also legal benefits. You can extend benefits to him or her, such as health insurance and inheritance rights. However, the process of adoption is best done with the assistance of an attorney. The following are a few reasons to hire one.
You will need to terminate existing parental rights
The biological father will need to sign a legal form that will terminate his parental rights. This is something that can quickly escalate into a problem. One that could have been avoided if it were handled by an attorney. They have experience in getting a man to sign on the dotted line, and they will be able to do so without bringing any emotion into the subject.
You may need to locate the biological father
Sometimes the whereabouts of the biological father are unknown, but you still need to make an effort to find him. There are legal standards for what constitutes a good faith effort in your search, so it is best for an attorney to perform the search for the father.
You may need a court to terminate his parental rights
If the biological father refuses to sign away his rights, it is possible to file an action and have a judge terminate his rights. This is something that can often be avoided with an attorney, but if it comes to it, your attorney will be familiar with the situation and will be ready to argue the case.
You will need to prepare the documents properly
After the biological father has signed away his parental rights, there is a drafting of the petition for adoption. There will be supporting documents that will need inclusion with the petition form. An attorney can make sure everything is done properly and with less chance of mistakes.
A lawyer can advise you on the examination from the county
The county government will want to look at everything before it goes to a judge. This process can vary from one jurisdiction to another, but it is not as strict as when adopting a child from outside the home. With stepchildren, there is usually a married couple with the stepchild living in the same home. The examination may only consist of a criminal background check.
The process of adopting a stepchild is best done with an attorney. They understand the specifics of your state's laws and can help to terminate the parental rights of the biological father. They can prepare all the paperwork properly, and appear with you in court.
To find out more, contact a company like Hildebrand Law Office PC.