Stepparent Adoptions-What Do I Need to Give My Lawyer & What Will He/She Do For Me?
You need get together some papers for your lawyer before he/she can prepare the petition for adoption and other documents required by State law. Your lawyer will file the paperwork with the probate office. A hearing will be set and the stepparent, his/her spouse may testify at the hearing.
What Do You Need to Give Your Attorney?Take a certified copy of your child's birth certificate and a certified copy of your marriage certificate and any child custody and/or divorce decrees to your lawyer.
You must also bring the name, address and phone number of the other biological parent, unless that person's parental rights have been terminated by a court.
If you cannot locate this information, notice will be published in a local newspaper. The cost of publication is rather high. It's almost always less expensive to locate the other parent than to publish notice in the paper.
What Will Your Attorney Do?The stepparent's attorney will prepare the necessary consents, the notice to DHR, the affidavits stating that neither the stepparent nor his/her spouse have received any payment for the adoption. The attorney will also make certain that all of the necessary steps have been taken to complete the adoption and will prepare the stepparent, his/her spouse and any other witnesses to testify at the hearing. The lawyer will also help you with getting the new birth certificate issued by the State.