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Colgan Law Firm LLC
Serving Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Johnson Counties in Kansas and Beyond

Stepparent adoption when the biological parent does not consent

Some people in Kansas might have questions about stepparent adoption. They may have married someone who has children and might wish to adopt them. Ideally, the other birth parent will consent to the adoption, but there are steps parents can take if this is not the case.

In order to adopt the child without the consent of the birth parent, that parent's rights must be terminated. This may be done in several different ways. If there is "abandonment", then the parent has stopped communicating with the child or helping the child financially. There is generally a certain time period over which this must be consistently true. Another option might be demonstrating that the other parent is unfit. This could be the case if the parent has abused or neglected the child. This could also happen if the parent has a serious mental illness or addiction or is incarcerated.

Finally, it might be possible that the other person is not the child's biological parent at all. This can happen if the mother is married at the time of the child's birth but the father is not the child's father. In general, it is presumed that the husband is the child's father. If it can be proven that this is not the case, consent may not be necessary.

Stepparent adoption can be a complex and emotional process. An attorney might be able to help parents in gathering and completing all the required documents and paperwork. While the parent and the stepparent may be able to educate themselves to some degree, every state has different laws, and an attorney may be able to answer any questions and clear up any confusion parents have about the process. This may also help keep the focus on the practical elements of the adoption instead of the more emotional ones.

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