How can my new spouse legally adopt my children? 19 Answers as of May 12, 2011

In my divorce the judge granted me complete custody of my two children since 2007. My wife has been in their life since and loves them dearly. I have the paperwork supporting custody and want her, my wife, to adopt them. How does that work?

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Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If there is another biological parent, you must have that parent agree to voluntarily terminate their rights or proceed with an action seeking to terminate their rights. Only after the rights are terminated may a step parent adoption occur.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/12/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
A step-parent adoption by your wife would serve to cut off all rights of the birth mother. In order to do this you either need the birth mother to consent, or you need to be able to prove that she, without good cause, has failed to be in contact with or pay support for the child for a period of more than one year. If you cannot establish one of these conditions, an adoption will not be able to proceed. Otherwise, you likely would be able to move forward with an adoption. If you are going to proceed, you would need to file a petition in the Probate Court of your county. A homestudy and a background check of the prospective adoptive parent would be performed. A hearing will be held as to the mother's consent or whether or not that consent is required. A final hearing will be held to determine whether the adoption is in the best interest of the child. (If the homestudy, background check, and consent issue have all been in your favor, it should go pretty smoothly.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/12/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Only if your ex will consent, otherwise no.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
It is done with the consent of the other parent or following the termination of the other parent's parental rights. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/11/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Via stepparent adoption procedure. If you live in Western Washington, please feel free to call my office to set up a free, no obligation consultation-in person or by phone-about this case.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/11/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    File a Petition for Step-parent adoption with the court, seeking termination of your ex-wife's parental rights. That is the first step. Adoption is not complicated but there is a "check list" for lack of a better word that must be followed. I recommend a lawyer that does these matters. Additionally, a firm such as mine, knows how to avoid certain cost (social studies, home studies, genetic reports, etc) that can save you far more than I charge. These waivers are not difficult to obtain if you know what to ask, how to ask (in other words, have a good reason when you get there) and at least one biological parent is maintaining his/her rights. Again, these waivers are not absolute, but I have yet to loose one. This is not something that is taught in law school, it is a trick I learned years ago in a case. My client's could not afford the studies, etc., so i created my own motion to waive them, made a compelling argument and won. Since then, I have used it several times, always successfully. Do you live in Collin county or Dallas County? If so, please give me a call. I would be happy to set you a free appointment to discuss the cost and options.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    She asks the court to allow her to adopt the child. You'll have to give notice to the biological mother. Best to hire an adoption attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado a step parent adoption requires consent by both parents OR a termination of the noncustodial parent's rights based upon a finding of abandonment and/or nonpayment of child support for one year prior to filing the petition.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You would need to terminate the birth mother's parental rights in Probate Court. This frees the children for adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You need to begin adoption proceedings as if the mother is not in their lives. Call us today to set an appointment for a free consultation to discuss the process and discuss all adoption fees.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    You would have to start a step parent adoption. You need to make sure your paperwork grants you full custody and terminates the other persons parental rights. You will probably have to give the biological parent notice. We are a Utah Law Firm, Arnold & Wadsworth , and offer free consultations. Feel free to give us a call.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Prior to your wife being able to adopt, the court must terminate the parental rights of the biological mother. This is possible if she has had no contact with the minor children and has not paid support. Generally, the court will also require that another person be willing to adopt, but that doesn't appear to be an issue for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    Adoptions are not difficult but they can be a little bit complicated. It is usually best to make an appointment to see an attorney who explain the numerous steps that have to be completed to finalize an adoption. There are are also a few factors that the attorney will want to know. For example, it is a much simpler process if your ex-wife, the birth mother, is willing to give up her parental rights. If the birth mother is not willing to give up her parental rights then the process will be a lot more difficult and it may not even be possible for your wife to adopt them.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I would need to know what their mother will agree to. I have been involved in a couple of these cases, so call me and I will go over it with you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If the mother of your children consents to your wife adopting your children, your wife should file a Petition to adopt your children and go forward with the adoption. If the mother doesn't consent, your wife would have to try to get the mother's parental rights terminated, something that may be possible if the mother hasn't supported, visited, or contacted the children for at least the past year.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    The process and steps you need to take depends on whether the biological mother consents to the adoption or not. Call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your case. There is no way to properly describe the entire adoption process in a few short sentences, especially since all the relevant facts are not stated in your question. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
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