Step Parent Adoption

Irvine Stepparent Adoption Lawyer

Adopt Your Stepchild in California with Writer Law Group, PC

If you have formed a bond with your stepchild and wish to adopt them, you must undergo the process of stepparent adoption. When you do so, you will become your stepchild’s legal parent and get all the rights and responsibilities of parenthood.

In California, the adoption process is easier for stepparents, but you will still need help navigating the legal system and presenting your case to the family law court

Our Irvine stepparent adoption attorney at Writer Law Group, PC can guide you through the adoption process and help resolve any disputes that emerge along the way. We understand the importance of stepparent adoption to your family, and we will always act in your stepchild’s best interests.

To work with a Certified Family Law Specialist recognized by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California, please call us at (949) 353-6151 today.

Can I Adopt My Stepchild?

Yes, you can adopt your stepchild, as long as you have both parents’ consent and meet all other requirements. California, for example, requires the person adopting to be at least 10 years older than the child and prefers the stepparent be married to their spouse for at least one (1) year before adoption. If your stepchild is over 12 years old, you must get their consent to adopt them, as well.

The most challenging aspect of stepparent adoption is typically getting consent, particularly if the non-custodial parent is unwilling to sign away their parental rights or responsibilities or is unable to be found.

You may need to file a lawsuit to terminate the non-custodial parent’s parental rights before you can adopt your stepchild.

Rest assured, our Irvine stepparent adoption lawyer can help.

How Do I Adopt My Spouse’s Child in California?

To adopt your spouse’s child, you must file a legal petition for stepparent adoption. From there, you will undergo a stepparent investigation. Often, the stepparent investigation is nothing more than a written report submitted to the court, but the court may take additional steps to facilitate the adoption if necessary.

How Is Traditional Adoption Different from Stepparent Adoption?

In a traditional adoption, you would need to take all the steps listed above, attend a court hearing, and submit to a home study.

California usually waives the home study in stepparent adoptions, and the adoption will be finalized during the court hearing.

In short, the adoption process is much easier for stepparents. Still, you may need legal help to prepare your investigation documents and prefer to have representation during your adoption hearing.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt My Stepchild in California?

The costs of adopting your stepchild may vary, but the costs incurred during a stepparent investigation are capped at $700. 

Hiring an attorney may make your stepparent adoption more expensive, but it can keep your court costs down and save you money in other areas.

If you are budgeting to adopt your stepchild, discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced attorney. At Writer Law Group, PC, we offer free, 30-minute consultations to help you get a better understanding of your case – and how much it may cost to adopt your stepchild in California.

Second Parent Adoption for Same-Sex Couples

In same-sex relationships, the spouse who is not biologically related to the child may need to adopt their child. Second parent adoption works similarly to stepparent adoption, but it may be even easier because there is only one legal parent before the adoption process takes place.

Your second parent adoption will confirm your parentage and protect your parental rights and responsibilities.

Put 25+ Years of Experience on Your Side

Writer Law Group, PC has more than 25 years of experience to dedicate to your adoption case. Whether you are an LGBTQ couple looking to validate your parentage or a stepparent seeking to adopt your stepchild, our firm can help.

Attorney Kayleene Writer is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist, and she will guide you through your case with clarity and compassion.

To schedule your free, 30-minute consultation with our firm, please call us at (949) 353-6151 or contact us online.

  • “Whenever I had any questions or even just needed to talk, she was always there to talk about the case or just in general. I highly recommend her and would use her in the future again as needed. She was excellent!” - Krystal G.
  • “You were right about everything. The truth would come out when the effort had to be put in. I wanted to thank you for having my back and talking me through everything and telling me what I didn’t want to hear but needed to hear. So thank you! My daug” - Morgan W.
  • “Because of Kayleene my daughter now enjoys a safe and wonderful family where she is blossoming into a remarkable young woman. I am forever in Kayleene's debt.” - Former Client