I live in Scottsdale and would like to adopt my wife's daughter from a previous marriage. How do I go about doing that?

Choosing to adopt your spouse's child is an exciting time for your family, and it's often much easier - from a legal standpoint - to do so, as opposed to a typical non-relative adoption. Generally, the process requires the appropriate documents to be obtained and filed, and it can be done comparatively quickly.

However, if the non-custodial parent is living and still has visitation rights, you could run into some snags along the way. Before you can proceed with a step-parent adoption in Arizona, the other parent must consent to the adoption or have previously terminated parental rights. Giving consent to the adoption means that the parent will no longer have parental rights, such as visitation, although you may be able to provide for such as the adoptive parent. Speak with your Scottsdale adoption attorney if you are concerned about the other parent consenting to the adoption, and see what your next steps should be.

If you would like to adopt a stepchild in Maricopa County, we'd be happy to handle all paperwork, court filings, and other concerns for you. Meet with one of our experienced Scottsdale family law attorneys in a completely free consultation by calling 1-888-929-5292. If you'd like more information, you can also request your free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.