Step Parent Adoption
Step Parent Adoption
What is a step parent adoption?
The traditional step parent adoption involves a woman who has remarried and has a child (or children) from a previous relationship. The same process is followed when the step mother of a child wishes to adopt. When there is little or no contact with the biological father, the primary father/child relationship forms between the step parent and the child. Under such circumstances, it is important to proceed with an adoption so that the step parent has legal recognition as the child’s parent. Without this legal status, the birth father may be able to assert his rights as a parent, should the mother (father) become incapacitated. A step parent adoption therefore offers security to the child and family.
Termination of birth father's rights in Washington:
Consent to adopt:
The birth father must be given notice of adoption proceedings. Ordinarily, the birth father is supportive of the adoption. A consent is presented to the birth father. If he signs the consent, his rights are terminated and the step father may proceed with an adoption.
When birth father refuses to sign consent:
If the birth father refuses to sign a consent, it is necessary to personally serve the birth father with a petition to terminate his parental rights. If the birth father fails to respond, his rights are terminated and the step father may proceed with an adoption.
When birth father is unknown:
If the location of the birth father or identity of the birth father is unknown it is still possible to terminate the birth father’s rights. It is necessary to publish notice to the birth father in a newspaper with general circulation in the area of the birth father’s last known address. This gives the birth father notice of the proceedings and, if the birth father fails to respond, his rights are terminated by the court.
Termination of Birth father's rights in Idaho:
Consent to adopt:
The birth father may sign a consent in the presence of a judicial officer.
When a consent is not necessary:
If the birth father is a resident of the state of Idaho and he fails to register with the Putative Father Registry, the adopting parent may present a certificate to the court showing that the birth father has failed to register and proceed with a petition to terminate the birth father's rights.
When personal service is necessary:
If the birth father lives outside the state of Idaho, it is necessary to personally serve the birth father with a petition to terminate his parental rights. It he fails to respond, the court will terminate rights and the adopting parent may proceed with an adoption.
When the birth father is unknown:
When the birth father resides outside the state of Idaho and his identity or whereabouts are unknown the adopting parent may publish notice to the birth father, and if the birth father fails to respond parental rights are terminated.
In Washington, the step father must either obtain a post placement report or a pre/post placement report. Only the post placement report is necessary if the mother and step father have been married for at least a year.
In Idaho no report is necessary if the adopting parent has sustained a relationship with the child in excess of one year while the child was a minor.
The birth father no longer owes child support once the adoption is finalized. He is still responsible, however, for any back child support incurred up to the time of the final adoption.
Attorney fees vary. Fixed fee and hourly rate are available. Reduced rates are also available for families where fees are a hardship.
The cost of the home study ranges from $650.00 to $1,000 depending upon the home study provider. A post placement report ranges from $250.00 to $500.00. Other costs include the following:
|Filing Fee:||$ 250.00(WA) $ 88.00(ID)|
|Birth Certificate Fee:||$ 35.00(WA) $ 26.00(ID)|
|Regular and Certified Copies:||$ 35.00|
|Publication of Notice (if necessary):||$ 250.00 - $ 800.00|
If you are interested in meeting and discussing step parent adoption at no charge, please contact us at 509-462-3678 or 800-338-8273 or via email at email@example.com