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Understanding step-parent adoption

When a person decides that they want to adopt a child, they have made the choice to be responsible for that child and to include them in their family. In some cases, families in Louisiana may look to adopt children from foster care or from private domestic agencies. In other cases, they may seek to grow their families through adoptions from foreign countries. However, one of the most common forms of adoption that occurs is that of step-parent adoption.

A step-parent adoption happens when a child's step-parent undergoes the legal process of making the child their own. When a child is born, a mother may not know the identity of her child's father and therefore may not list a second parent on the birth certificate. Or, a child's parent may pass away and leave them with only one parent to look out for their interests.

A step-parent is a person who marries a child's parent, but who does not have parental rights over the child. A parent may have a step-parent and two parents; if the child's parents divorce and one re-marries, this scenario could occur. However, if there is no second parent, then the step-parent may look into adopting their spouse's child.

In some cases, a parent may survive but may lose their parental rights. If a person has had their parental rights terminated then their child's step-parent may be able to adopt the child. If, however, a parent's rights are intact, then the step-parent would need their permission and consent to go through with their adoption.

Completing a step-parent adoption can be an involved legal process. Family law attorneys who work in this filed can attempt to support their clients as they seek to unify their families and support each other through adoption.

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