Step-Parent Adoption

A step-parent adoption is a type of independent adoption, where a step-parent adopts the child of their spouse, and the spouse maintains his/her legal rights.

Step-parent adoptions can be sensitive, especially if the other biological/legal parent is still alive. With a step-parent adoption, because the biological/legal parents’ parental rights would be terminated they must be notified and approve of the step-parent’s intent to adopt.

If the biological/legal parent cannot be found or refuses to consent, it is still possible for a court to grant the adoption so long as the biological/legal parent is properly notified of the adoption. In this instance, the biological/legal parent must be notified of the adoption and provided an opportunity to object. If the legal parent does not object the adoption will be granted if it is in the best interest of the child. If a legal parent objects to the adoption, then the outcome is specific to each case. Jennifer has handled dozens of step-parent adoptions in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia including ones contested by the legal parent.

Jennifer represents the step-parents, birth parents or the child (if older than 10 years of age in Maryland or 14 years of age in Virginia or the District of Columbia) in step-parent adoptions. She has handled cases where the natural parent refuses to participate in the case or objects (making it a contested step-parent) as well as consensual cases.

Step Parent Adoption

Jennifer represented my step-dad to legally adopt me.  Jennifer informed me of all details for the adoption procedures and made certain that it was completely my choice.  I felt very good that she was our lawyer.  I was glad she told us in advance to bring a camera to take pictures with the judge.  She was very personal and it was a happy day for me.  I now have the same last name as my family with many thanks to Jennifer. 

-Vivi  

Revocation Period

In Maryland a birth parent has 30 calendar days to revoke their consent to an adoption whether private or agency.  In the District of Columbia consent is irrevocable upon execution for a private adoption and a birth parent has 14 days to revoke their consent to adoption if the baby is placed through an agency. In Virginia, a birth mother consents in Court in front of Judge three days or more after the baby is born and has seven days to revoke.  In a Virginia agency case, the birth mother signs a relinquishment to the agency and does not appear in court. 

Step Parent Adoption

Jennifer represented my step-dad to legally adopt me.  Jennifer informed me of all details for the adoption procedures and made certain that it was completely my choice.  I felt very good that she was our lawyer.  I was glad she told us in advance to bring a camera to take pictures with the judge.  She was very personal and it was a happy day for me.  I now have the same last name as my family with many thanks to Jennifer. 

-Vivi  

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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