Adopting a stepchild can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both parent and child, but the process is not always easy. For those who have been in a blended family situation for some time, the idea of adoption might seem like a natural progression. But there are many legal obstacles to consider before proceeding with adoption. It’s important to understand that although it's possible to adopt your stepchild, it isn't always straightforward or simple.
In this blog post we will look at some of the different factors involved in adopting your stepchild, so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for everyone involved. We will discuss why some people choose to pursue adoption and how to go about making it happen from start to finish. Ultimately, our goal is help parents understand what they need to do if they wish to give their children a more permanent place in their lives through adoption.
How Does Stepparent Adoption Work in Massachusetts?
Adopting a stepchild can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both parent and child, but the process is often difficult to navigate. In Massachusetts, there are several steps that must be taken in order to successfully complete a stepparent adoption. This blog post will provide information about the legal aspects of stepparent adoption in this state, so those considering this option can make informed decisions and understand what they need to do if they wish to give their children a more permanent place in their lives through adoption.
In Massachusetts, before the court will grant permission for a stepparent adoption, it must first be determined that the non-custodial biological parent has either voluntarily relinquished his or her parental rights or had them terminated due to abandonment or unfitness as a parent. If the child is over the age of 12, the child themselves must also consent to the adoption. The child must also have lived with the stepparent and their parent for at least 6 months prior to the adoption. In most cases, stepparent adoptions do not require a home study and do not involve the Department of Children and Families.
Legal Consequences of Stepparent Adoption
The decision to adopt a stepchild is an important one, and it’s important to understand the legal consequences of such an action. Adoption can provide stability and security for both the parent and child, but it also carries with it certain legal implications that must be understood before proceeding.
It's important to remember that once adopted, your stepchild will now legally become your own in all aspects of life - from inheritance rights under wills or trusts; being eligible for social security benefits if you were disabled; health insurance coverage through employers; and access to family medical records..
Additionally, if you decide to get divorced in the future, your stepchild will still remain legally bound to you until they reach majority age. You will be responsible for their care and upbringing and will be obligated to financially support them, even if you no longer live with their custodial parent. Once a child is adopted by a stepparent, the biological parent whose rights were terminated no longer has any legal rights over the child and cannot seek custody or visitation.
Your child's birth certificate will also change. In Massachusetts, a new birth certificate is issued for your stepchild after the adoption is finalized. This document will list both of you as their parents and give you full legal authority over them.
Contact an Adoption Attorney for Help
If you are considering adopting your stepchild in Massachusetts, it is important to understand the legal implications and requirements of doing so. The lawyers at Percy Law Group, PC have extensive experience with stepparent adoption cases and can help you make informed decisions about this process. We are here to guide you through each step of the process, from determining parental rights to filing paperwork and obtaining a new birth certificate. Our team is committed to ensuring that your family's adoption goes smoothly and peacefully.
Contact us online or call us at (508) 206-9900 for more information or to schedule an appointment.