Stepparents often play an important role in the lives of children. Many couples with blended families chose to pursue stepparent adoption to create solid family bonds and ties. Is your family considering a stepparent adoption? Here's what you should know about stepparent adoptions in the Bluegrass State, including how the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey can help your family successfully navigate the process.
Under Kentucky law, an adoption terminates the biological parent's parental rights. The law recognizes biological parents' strong constitutionally protected right to parent their children. To terminate this constitutionally protected right through an adoption, Kentucky law either requires that:
- The parent whose rights are being terminated consent to the adoption
- The party seeking to adopt the child prove that the biological parent's parental rights should be terminated involuntarily
Obviously, the first option is significantly easier to accomplish. All that's required is for the consenting biological parent to sign a consent form that contains the specific language required by state law. The second option is much more challenging. To terminate a biological parent's parental rights without their consent, a Kentucky court must have clear and convincing evidence of abuse, neglect, or other statutory factors. While we won't delve into the statutory factors necessary to involuntarily terminate parental rights in this blog post, they generally involve the biological parent abandoning, harming, or failing to support the child.
Caring and Capable Representation
A stepparent adoption can be a wonderful thing for a family. While the adoption process can seem daunting, working with an adept attorney can help ensure things go as smoothly as possible. At Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey, we've successfully guided countless families through the process over the years, helping them turn the love they have in their hearts into a legal reality. We may be able to do the same for you.