Adopting a Step-child

Archived Q&A and Reviews

I'd like my step-father to adopt me

June 2004 I would like my step father to adopt me and am wondering if anyone knows the procedure for getting this done. I am an adult and have had little to no relationship with my biological father, who divorced my mother when I was 9 months old. My step- father has been my father figure since I was 5 years old, and I would like to make the relationship legal. Does anyone know if we can do this easily on our own (or do we need a lawyer)? If so, how do we get the forms, etc, to do it? Does my biological father get notice and does he need to give up his parental rights? Thanks.
Contact Larry Siegel for advice/help on being adopted by your step dad. He's handled two adoptions for me - albeit they were adoptions at birth. His number is 415-256-8844. Good luck! CG
i am an adoption service provider (registered with the state, and someone you have to go through for an independent adoption in the state of california - an ASP that is) ASP's work with the birth and adopting family to sign all the legal paperwork, ensure that the birthparents know their rights etc. give me a call (at no charge)at 510 528-2263 and i would be happy to walk you thru the process. butjust to answer a couple of your questions; no you do not need an attorney (although it can make it easier for you - paperwork wise) and yes, your birth father's rights would have to be terminated. you can either call me for clarification or call the department of social service - adoption branch. not knowing, what county you live in, i will give you the state number. it is (916) 574-1333. ask for the person who deals with independent adoptions. good luck. betty bleicher, lcsw betty
This is a simple process (unless your biological father kicks up a fuss) and you probably won't need a lawyer. One place to start is to get the NOLO Press book on adoption in California. You can go to their website and look for articles and books they have available.

Basically, this is done by county and you can find the forms that you need online for most counties. The website for Alamada Co. is Fill out the forms, submit them in triplicate (or whatever), go through an interview, fill out more forms, etc. Finally get a court date, which will just be a formality, see the judge and have him or her sign, and that's about it. I don't know precisely about your biological father, but if he's been out of the picture for so long you may not even have to contact him. Good luck. Dianna

there is a process for adult adoption. a place to start might be a book by nolo press, a good self-help resource, called ''Do Your Own California Adoption: Nolo's Guide for Stepparents and Domestic Partners.'' hope this helps

My husband would like to adopt my 6 year old daughter

2000 I have been remarried for over a year and my husband would like to adopt my 6 year old daughter. I have been divorced for 5 years from my daughter's biological father, he has never supported her financially and hasn't contacted her for years. In my nolo press book, they say that some courts will grant an adoption if the biological parent is served papers, but does not respond. Does anyone have experience with Alameda County? I am trying to find out how complicated this is going to be. We are trying to weigh the options of guardianship versus adoption. I just had a new baby and my husband feels very strongly that he wants legal protection and recognition of our family.
This responds to the mother whose husband wants to adopt her first child & is uncertain of the reaction of the bio-father. I respond both as an adoptive parent and a lawyer.

Your husband is right & you owe your first child at least an attempt at adoption. Otherwise, you give that child the message that she is different, that her relationship with her father is different, and that she is not a part of the family. Adoption is the assumption of parental responsibilities and it is forever. Guardianship can be eliminated (since you are already there as her natural guardian) or shift at will. It is not a forever commitment. Your husband wants to make the forever commitment and you should back him all the way, for the sake of your child. S/he should stand on equal footing in the family with his/her sibling.

If your first husband is as worthless as he sounds, he can be pursuaded that he should be glad he will be relieved of the obligation of support. If he opposes the adoption, at least you have something you can say to that child when s/he asks why she was never adopted by the man she knows as Dad.

My husband was adopted by his mother's second husband, around age 2 or 3. He is glad that they did so. He now also has a good relationship with his biological father.