Adopting a stepchild can make the bond between you and your stepchild even stronger. But how much is it to adopt my stepchild? What are the fees involved and how to get the adoption papers? Find out by reading the article below.
Stepparent adoption completes and blends a family into one. This process allows you to adopt the biological child of your spouse legally, taking over the responsibilities and getting all the parental rights as well.
Adopting your stepchild is not as costly as regular adoption, but it is not exactly free. Let us discuss the requirements for stepchild adoption and how much it costs.
Can a stepparent adopt a child?
Yes, a step-parent can adopt a child if the court deems the step-parent fit to care for the child and as long as the child’s biological parents give their consent for the adoption.
You might also like to read: How Much Does It Cost To Adopt My Grandchild?
How to adopt my stepchild?
Once you have decided to adopt your stepchild, you need to file a petition in your local court stating that you wish to adopt the child.
You will also need consent from the birth parent of the child. If all the parties are involved in the adoption agreement, you would need to sign a legal and binding contract, after which you become the legal parent of your stepchild.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Stepchild?
Adoption of a child can be costly. The cost of adoption is something that you need to consider before you decide to adopt a child. When it comes to stepparent adoption, the cost is not as high as other types of adoption, but there are some expenses that you need to bear.
You might also like to read: Adopting Vs. Having Your Own Child – Pros And Cons
The first step to adopting your stepchild will be to file a petition in court.
For filing the stepparent adoption petition, you will have to pay a filing fee. The filing fee varies from state to state. In some states like California, the filing fee is as nominal as $20, and in some states like Texas, it can be as high as $300. You will have to pay this amount when filing the petition in court to adopt your stepchild.
Other than the filing fee, several other expenses add to the adoption cost. Other expenses include the attorney fees if there is a child attorney, the fee for adoption home study, counseling mandatory by the court, and for checking the criminal history. When it comes time to legally adopting your stepchild, you will also have to pay for a new birth certificate.
Adoption Agency Fees
While filing the petition for adopting your stepchild, you must notify the court that you are taking the services of a private licensed adoption agency, a licensed marriage and family therapist, or a licensed clinical social worker to complete all the necessary investigations. You will have to pay the investigation fee to the investigator hired by you.
In case the petitioner does not hire any such investigator. In that case, the court will assign a county welfare department, a qualified court investigator, or a probation officer to complete the investigation. The investigation cost can be as high as $700.The adoptive parent has to bear all the costs incurred during adoption.
All these expenses are variable depending on the state you reside in, but on an approximation, the cost of adopting your stepchild can vary anywhere from $1500 to $2000. You have to pay this much amount even if the biological parent of your stepchild gives you consent or even if you don’t appoint a lawyer. In case of child adoption, the court itself will appoint a lawyer for the child.
You might also like to read: What Questions Are Asked In A Home Study For Adoption?
There is, however, one relief for stepparent adoption in families with lower economic backgrounds. All the courts allow waiving or reducing the filing fees depending on your assets and income.
Also, the probation officer, county welfare department, qualified court investigator, or the court itself can reduce, waive or defer the investigation fees if they feel like the payment would result in economic hardship on the adoptive parent, which will impact the welfare of the minor child they are adopting in the long run.
How to file adoption papers myself
Get the adoption papers and fill them out. Once you have filled the forms, take them to court to submit them in person, or you can submit them online through e-filing. You can also send the papers via mail.
How to get adoption papers for step dad?
Many of the child welfare websites offer free download of the adoption papers. The papers are also available on every state’s official child welfare website. You can download and print the adoption paper from any of them.
Step parent adoption in Florida
For step-parent adoption in Florida, the step-parents need to have:
- Get the required consent
- File the petition for adopting their stepchild.
- Attend the court hearing
- Get the birth certificate of the child with their name as parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I adopt my stepchild without the father’s consent?
It is essential to get their biological father’s consent to adopt the stepchild you have with your wife. You can not adopt your stepchild without their biological father’s consent.
There are, however, several exceptions to this rule. For example, if the biological father is dead or declared unfit by the court to care for their child, you can adopt your stepchild without the father’s consent.
Can you Un Adopt a child?
There is no such thing as the un-adoption of a child. Adoption of a child is a legal procedure. It is final and legally binding once all the parties involved in the adoption have signed off on the agreement.
Adoption terminates all the biological parent’s rights on the child, and the adoptive parents get the child’s parental rights. However, certain circumstances leave adoptive parents wanting to un-adopt a child. In such cases, the parents can voluntarily surrender their parental rights as a parent or place the child in foster care, but they can not un adopt a child.
Can my step dad adopt me?
Yes, your step dad can adopt you. If your stepdad is legally married to your mom or dad and your biological dad or mom gives their consent, then your stepdad can legally adopt you.
How long does a step-parent adoption take in California?
Step-parent adoption can take anywhere from two to six months in California, depending upon the complexity of the adoption process.
How much are adoption papers?
The adoption paperwork can cost anywhere from $20 to $300, depending on your state.
How much does second parent adoption cost?
Approximately second parent adoption can cost anywhere from $2000 to $3000. The legal fees of the adoption are around $1000, and the cost of adoption home study is approximately $1,000 and $2,000.
Can my husband adopt my son if the biological father is not on the birth certificate?
Yes, your husband can adopt your son if the biological father is not on the birth certificate. If the biological father’s name is not on the birth certificate, he has no legal rights to the child.
Adopting your stepchild can cost anywhere from $1500 to $2000. It all depends on the state you reside in and the complexity of your case.
Thank you for reading the article. We hope you got the answers you were looking for. Let us know how we did, and in case we missed anything do write to us in the comments section below