We believe that anyone who steps up to the role of being a stepparent deserves praise. Stepparenting is challenging, but also uniquely rewarding. The path you took to win the trust and love of your stepchild was probably strewn with many unexpected obstacles, but your perseverance has paid off. The logical next step for many families is adoption.

In some cases, adopting a stepchild is relatively easy. For example, if the child’s non-custodial biological parent has passed away or does not have any parental rights, you will probably encounter very few hurdles. However, other times, the process is much more complicated. As you might expect, complexities often arise when a child’s biological parent resists the adoption.

Even though Pennsylvania is one of the least restrictive states when it comes to adoption, you must still comply with the law. If the biological parent is in the child’s life or has parental rights, you will need his or her consent. Children over the age of 12 must also consent to an adoption.

A great way for adoptive parents to meet and overcome any hurdles surrounding adoption is to work with a family law attorney. In addition to preparing your family for the legal process, an experienced family law attorney can open the door to a wealth of valuable knowledge and resources to guide you through the adoption.

Adopting a stepchild is one of the most rewarding events that parents and children can experience. As lawyers who must often deal with troubling family issues, we find adoption rewarding as well. If you have additional concerns or questions about adopting your stepchild, we invite you to begin to seek answers on our firm’s website.