Legal Rights of a Stepparent under Arizona Law
Generally speaking, Arizona stepparents are not liable for their spouse’s child from a previous marriage unless they legally adopt the child. In addition, Arizona stepparents can adopt a stepchild in order to obtain enforceable parental rights.
Before a stepparent can proceed with the adoption process in Arizona, the child’s biological parent must first relinquish his or her parental rights. Once the child’s biological parent consents to the adoption, and voluntary terminates their parental rights, the stepparent can move forward with the adoption process. Depending on the circumstances, a biological parent’s rights can be involuntarily terminated through court orders. Stepparents in Arizona hoping to adopt a stepchild should seek the assistance of an Arizona family law attorney to help facilitate the process.