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Step parent adoption is one of the more popular types of adoption and can bring a family that might otherwise be fractured by the stigma of "step" into a full and complete circle. Laws regarding step parent adoption can vary from state to state, but essentially in every state, there must be a hearing to determine the best interest of the child and the biological parent must either relinquish their parental rights or have those parental rights severed. Because of abuse or abandonment issues, there are provisions for giving legal and public notice in this type of situation. Once notice has been establish and an attempt to contact has been made, the court may grant the adoption to the step parent. Obviously, having an adoption attorney can make a process like this easier but you can complete this kind of adoption on your own. Once you have familiarized yourself with the laws and the process you can fill out the legal forms and represent yourself in court. Just make sure you take all the correct steps and leave no stone unturned to protect yourself and your adoptive child.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|