Deciding to adopt a stepchild is a big step, and it can be very rewarding to you and your family. If you'd like to adopt your spouse's child in Arizona, the good news is that it is usually a much more streamlined process than a non-relative adoption and can be a great deal easier.
To give you an idea of what an Arizona step-parent adoption entails, here are the basic steps:
- Contact a Scottsdale family law attorney. Although not every state actually requires you to hire a lawyer for a step-parent adoption, you will probably find it helpful to speak to a family law attorney who can tell you what is required and help you work out any complications.
- Obtain, complete, and submit all court-required forms. This can be the toughest part, as you will need to make sure you have everything organized and ready. You'll need to provide a lot of information to the court, and you will need to be sure the other parent consents to the adoption or has otherwise had parental rights terminated. Your Scottsdale family law attorney can handle a great deal of this so that all loose ends are tied up, and everything is ready to go.
- Attend the hearing(s). Depending on your situation and the specifics of the adoption, you will probably have to at least attend the finalization hearing. If you are unsure what is required, or if you need to attend the adoption hearing(s) in your county, speak with your Arizona adoption attorney.
- Finalize the adoption and apply for a birth certificate. After the final hearing, the adoption is finalized, and you will receive a copy of the Order of Adoption. At that point, you can apply for a new birth certificate for the child, which will include the adoptive parent's name. If the child will take your last name, the name change will also be reflected on the new birth certificate.
The Scottsdale adoption attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten would be happy to speak with you in a completely free consultation about adopting a stepchild. Just give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or fill out the confidential contact form on this page. We'd also like to offer you a copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which you can request over the phone or through our website. We look forward to helping you add to your family.