Stepparent Adoption

Essex County Stepparent Adoptions Attorney

A stepparent adoption can take as little as six months from start to finish, assuming that the natural parent consents to the adoption and no other obstacles arise.

When the court hearing to finalize the stepparent adoption is set, many New Jersey judges will allow the hearing to be in closed court or their private chambers so that friends and relatives can attend the celebration.

Located in West Orange, the Law Offices of Gary J. Natale, P.C. is proud to handle the necessary paperwork to help a blended family become legally united. Contact us today to get started with a free initial consultation.

The Legal Rights and Obligations of Parenthood

In some stepparent adoptions, the biggest barrier to adoption is the biological parent’s refusal of consent. By law, a child may not have more than two legal parents, just as he or she cannot have more than two biological parents.

In order for a stepparent to adopt a stepchild, the child’s biological parent must surrender his or her legal rights as a parent. The stepparent then takes on the parental rights and responsibilities:

  • The stepparent gains decision-making authority with regard to medical and educational decisions for the stepchildren.
  • The adoption removes the need for a special guardianship agreement to designate the stepparent as the child’s guardian in the event of the other parent’s death.
  • The child becomes a natural heir of the stepparent.
  • The stepparent also takes on the legal obligations of parenthood: he or she assumes the legal duty to support the child financially, for example.

Find Answers to Questions About Stepparent Adoptions

West Orange family law attorney Gary Natale has a legal career that spans two decades. Our law firm emphasizes a total commitment to providing client service that goes above and beyond. We are not satisfied until all your questions are answered and we have found the most efficient and effective way to help you accomplish your family’s specific goal.

Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer with decades of family law experience.