Oftentimes, when a stepparent and his or her spouse are considering a stepparent adoption in Pennsylvania, it’s because this legal adoption would be of the greatest interest for the stepchild in question. Perhaps the child’s noncustodial parent is no longer in their life, no longer performs adequate parental duties or is no longer interested in maintaining his or her parental rights.
All of this can prompt parents to ask, “What are an absent parents’ rights in Pennsylvania, and can you complete a stepparent adoption without consent?”
Any kind of adoption that deals with absent parent rights and their adoption consent needs to be handled by an experienced adoption professional like those at Bierly & Rabuck. Adoption can be a complicated process and, when you add in situations like absent parents and involuntary termination of rights, it becomes a delicate situation that only attorneys have experience with.
No matter what your personal stepparent adoption situation, we encourage you to contact our adoption attorneys at 814-237-7900 if you are considering adopting a stepchild in Pennsylvania. Our legal guidance will help you safely create a legal family relationship, even in complicated parental situations.
Cases Where a Stepparent Adoption Without Consent May Be Necessary
It’s not uncommon for a stepparent to approach our attorneys wondering how to get an absent parent to sign over rights or how to complete a stepparent adoption without consent. This can be a complicated situation, as even noncustodial parents have certain rights to their child. The appropriate legal process must be followed to complete a stepparent adoption in this situation.
If you think you’ll need to complete a stepparent adoption without consent in Pennsylvania, speak to an attorney before doing anything else. Not all adoption situations require the consent of the noncustodial parent, but only an experienced attorney can determine whether this might be the case with your personal circumstances.
You should contact an adoption attorney about a potential stepparent adoption without the biological father’s consent or the biological mother’s consent if the noncustodial parent:
- Has refused to or failed to perform appropriate parental duties
- Has harmed the child through incapacity, abuse or neglect
- Is the presumptive but not the natural father of the child
- Is unknown or cannot be found
- Has been convicted of a criminal crime or sexual abuse against the custodial child of the parent
Not every one of these situations will allow for a stepparent adoption without consent, and there are more circumstances than these that may allow for the involuntary termination of the absent parent’s rights. This decision is determined by many factors, which is why all stepparents considering an adoption should contact the attorneys at Bierly & Rabuck.
The Process of Adopting a Stepchild with an Absent Father or Mother
All stepparent adoptions require the noncustodial parent’s rights to be terminated, whether through their own consent or through an involuntary termination completed by the court. In a stepparent adoption without consent, this process is legally complicated and must be completed by an adoption attorney.
Each adoption situation is unique, so it’s impossible to state how exactly your personal adoption without consent may proceed. Your adoption attorney will discuss your legal options with you as soon as you begin the process and will guide you through whatever steps you need to take in adopting a stepchild with an absent father or mother. Most of the legal work will be completed by your adoption attorney, who best understands Pennsylvania adoption laws on this matter and can proceed in the best legal and ethical manner.
Because the legal parent-child relationship is often a relationship that grants the most legal rights today, there are several critical requirements that must be met and steps that must be followed before these rights can be terminated without the consent of the parent. Your attorney will gather all of the necessary documentation to prove a parent has neglected their duty or that the existing parent-child relationship is not in the child’s best interest. The adoption court will then review these documents before determining whether an absent parent’s rights can be terminated involuntarily.
While the process of a stepparent adoption without consent may be complicated, it’s not impossible. If you think you might need this kind of adoption process, please contact an adoption attorney as soon as possible.
Why an Adoption Attorney is Necessary
All stepparent adoptions require the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney, and any questions regarding absent parents’ rights can certainly complicate this legal situation. As mentioned, only an adoption attorney has the legal knowledge necessary to successfully complete a stepparent adoption without consent in Pennsylvania, and they should be contacted early in the process if this kind of situation is anticipated.
Termination of parental rights is always a sensitive process, and the adoption attorneys at Bierly & Rabuck will provide the guidance and support you need to complete the process that’s in the best interest of your stepchild. Your legal professional will handle all the legal steps and requirements to make the process as easy as possible for you, allowing you to focus on what’s really important — your family.
To learn more about the process of adopting a stepchild with an absent father or mother, please contact our adoption attorneys at 814-237-7900.