Statistics reveal that an increasingly large percentage of Americans are part of a blended family or stepfamily. A blended family consists of a couple who have married and brought children from a previous marriage into one household.
In this case, the couple is faced with a choice of whether or not they will legally adopt their spouse’s children.
For some, the legal hassle of the process seems to outweigh any benefits. What, though, is the process, and what are the benefits of legally adopting your spouse’s children? If you do go ahead with the process, should you get a family lawyer?
Process of Adopting a Stepchild in Oklahoma
Each state is left to establish its own laws to regulate adoption. The process not only varies by state, but also by family circumstances. If you are considering adopting your spouse’s children, familiarizing yourself with the adoption process in Oklahoma is an important first step.
Here are some of Oklahoma’s laws for adopting a stepchild:
- The stepparent must be legally married to the child’s parent for over a year before initiating the adopting process.
- In the case of adopting a stepchild, the home study and six-month waiting period required for other adoptions are not necessary.
- Stepchildren over 12 years of age must consent to the adoption.
- Both biological parents must give consent to the adoption unless one of the parents is deceased or has been legally stripped of his/her parental rights.
Benefits of Legally Adopting Your Spouse’s Child
Adopting your spouse’s child or children can carry a number of worthwhile benefits, both legally and emotionally.
For example, on the legal side, becoming the legal parent of your stepchild can provide financial security and facilitate matters of inheritance down the road.
“The adopted child will be entitled to inherit property from the adopted parents and the parents will be able to inherit from the child,” explains LegalAidOK.org.
Beyond that, many stepparents decide to initiate a legal adoption of their stepchildren to officialize their blended family and create an environment of emotional security in the home.
Why Get an Adoption Lawyer in Tulsa, OK
Adoption should be a happy and heart-warming process as you legally solidify your family.
Still, the legalities of it all can make matters complicated and stressful for both the parents and the children involved. Reading up on the particulars of law and deciphering what you need to do can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, related adoptions (adoptions in which the adopting party is related by blood or marriage, which is true of stepchild adoptions) are relatively easier than unrelated adoptions in Oklahoma, and they generally take less time to process.
That being said, investing in the services of a family law attorney to guide you through the web of paperwork and court hearings can save you much time and stress.
Reddy & Feldhake, P.C. in Tulsa, OK, offers family law representation you can trust at an affordable price. Our team of experienced attorneys will treat you like family, and take care of the technicalities of your adoption so you can focus on the joy of legalizing your parenthood.
Schedule a free consultation today.