I want to adopt my step son!

Asked over 4 years ago - Pittsburgh, PA

I am married and have two biological children with my wife along with a step son from her previous relationship. The biological father has died. I want to be my step son's legal guardian and change his name (which his mother is consenting to). How should I approach this? As a "custody" issue or an "adoption". I believe Pennsylvania has different petitions for each. And can I change his name in the same swoop? Or is that a seperate matter?

THANKS!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James V. Monaghan

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . You need to do a step-parrent adoption. The process is relatively simple (in your circumstance) but you should obtain counsel nonetheless. Understand that by adopting your step son you are obtaining the same rights and obligations as the natural father. This menas that you would have custodial rights in the event of a separation but you would also have the obligation of support as well.

  2. Ronald Anthony Sarno

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You need to discuss the matter with a PA family lawyer. Most likely the court will permit a petition for the adoption and change of name. Some documents the attorney will need include the birth certificate of the child, the death certificate of the child's father and your marriage certificate. I am assuming there is not paternal relative who might contest the adoption.

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    LEGAL DISCLAIMER…………………………………………………………………..
    Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about this issue.

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