Families come in all different formats. While some families operate with two parents, others are successful with only one. In many situations, a child’s biological parent is absent, but a stepparent acts as a trusted adult. In these situations, a stepparent may wish to make legally binding changes that give them official guardianship rights over their stepchild.
If your family includes a stepparent, it is important to understand their rights, as well as the parental rights given to a child’s biological parents. This can help you to navigate any changes in your family structure. Our family law attorneys at Trotto Law Firm, P.C. are here to help you understand the process of stepparent adoption, how to terminate parental biological rights and more.
For over ten years, the professional attorneys at our firm have been successful advocates in the family law sector. We are passionate about these cases because we know how important family is to our clients, and we take extra time and care to protect the families that work with us. No area law firm has the same level of passion and expertise that we do, and we offer the best representation for complicated family law issues.
If you need a termination of parental rights attorney in Rochester, our team offers the best resources for you. Terminating a biological parent’s rights, instating a stepparent’s rights, or both requires an attorney with significant training and experience. Not all family attorneys have the ability to represent clients in these cases. Fortunately, our parental rights lawyers are highly trained and able to take on your case, no matter how complicated your situation may be.
No other Rochester family law firm understands parental rights like our team at Trotto Law Firm, P.C. We offer you the best possible representation in your parental rights claim.
If you are exploring adoption for your child’s stepparent, you must understand that in doing so, you will terminate your child’s other biological parent’s rights. In doing so, the child’s other biological parent will no longer have grounds to seek child custody or visitation, and they will be released of the obligation to pay child support.
Many families wish to give a child’s stepparent full parental rights because they are more active in the child’s life than their biological parent, and this route makes sense for their family. Rarely do we see families who are trying to be vindictive or cruel to the child’s other parent by taking away their rights. Not only is this heartbreaking, but it is also usually not possible.
In order for a stepparent to be allowed to adopt their stepchild, the child’s other parent must relinquish their rights, or the court must determine that they can waive the parent’s rights without their signature. The court may waive the need for the biological parent’s consent if the parent does not have a legally recognized relationship with their child. For example, if a child’s mother had left when the child was an infant and has only sent occasional correspondence, the court may not require her consent to waive her parental rights and to give them to the child’s stepmother.
If the child is 14 years old or older, they must give their consent to the adoption process. If the stepparent has a record of abusing, neglecting, or seriously harming a child, they will not be allowed to adopt the child legally. Just as with any other adoption, the state will send a social worker to perform a home study and investigate whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
The amount of time it takes to terminate parental rights in New York varies. If the parent has legally abandoned their child, their rights may be terminated after six months. If the parent has neglected the child, failed to maintain contact, and became absent in the process of planning for the child’s future, the rights may be terminated after 12 months. If a parent abuses the child severely or repeatedly, their rights may be taken away more quickly.
If you wish to give away your parental rights, you may file an application through the court system. However, these petitions are rarely accepted and only in extreme circumstances. In most cases, someone such as your child’s other parent, the state, or your child has to file to have your parental rights removed. In these cases, you often simply have to consent and sign some paperwork for your parental rights to be removed.
A father may apply to have his rights removed through the court. In many cases, parental rights surrender is conditional, such as when parents place their children for adoption. In these cases, a father terminates his rights conditionally, pending the adoption of the child. In other situations, a father may terminate his rights by agreeing to a stepparent adoption or a child emancipation agreement.
Your method for terminating child support will depend on your situation. If your financial situation has changed, or the financial situation of your child’s other parent has changed, you can file for a child custody modification. Otherwise, you can terminate child support obligations during a forfeiture of parental rights, either through a court petition or stepparent adoption.
For many years, our team has been helping parents and stepparents to navigate parental rights, stepparent adoption, and other niche areas of the family law system. We have a strong understanding of these laws and will provide you with the best possible representation during your claim.
For more information about our firm or to schedule a consultation for your case, please contact Trotto Law Firm, P.C. via our website.
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