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I want to adopt my wife's kids

Discussion in 'Adoption' started by Jclif19, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Jclif19

    Jclif19 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I would like to adopt my wife kids from a previous marriage. But I gave up my parental rights to my child from a previous marriage . Can I adopt my wife's kids even after I gave up my rights to my own child?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Stepparent adoptions are possible.
    Such adoptions take time, cost a great deal of money, are made harder if the other biological parent objects, and require an attorney.

    The stepparent's background will be investigated.
    Before you even consider adopting, if there are skeletons in your closet, the court will find them all.


    How does a Stepparent Adopt a Stepchild?

    Under Code of Virginia § 63.2-1241, a stepparent may file a petition in the circuit court of the county where the birth parent and his or her spouse reside, or in the county or city where the child resides. The petition is a joint petition filed by the stepparent and his or her spouse, for the purposes of the spouse’s consent.

    There are certain circumstances under which a Virginia court may order the adoption without referring the case to a local director for further review. Those cases include: (1) if the other biological (or adopted) parent is dead; (2) if the other biological (or adopted) parent consents to the adoption; (3) the acknowledged father denies paternity of the child; (4) the birth mother swears under oath that she does not know the identity of the biological father; (5) the child is the result of a surrogate pregnancy and the biological parent gives consent; (6) the biological parent joining in the adoption was not married at the time the child was adopted; and (7) the child is 14-years-old or older and has lived with the stepparent for at least five years.

    If the biological parent does not consent to the adoption, then the court must determine whether to order the adoption is based on the best interests of the child.
     
  3. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    This, of course, would need to be done through the court system. You need to discuss with a lawyer.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I think you'll have a bigger problem getting the consent of the biological father.
     
  5. Jclif19

    Jclif19 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    There father has nothing to do with them and has already asked several times if I would accept his rights. I was wondering if I would be able to adopt them since I gave up my rights to my own chid
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It probably depends on the reason WHY your parental rights were terminated.
    For example, if child abuse, child neglect, violence, drug abuse, sexual molestation, or some other heinous reason; your path to adoption will be difficult, if not impossible.

    If, for example, you relinquished your parental rights at the request of their mother, because you were having financial problems, or you were in prison for crimes NOT involving your family; such innocuous reasons (insofar as your kids are concerned) probably wouldn't hurt your chances.

    Again, talk to a real, living, breathing, licensed lawyer (or two) in your county. The initial visit is normally offered at no charge. That's the only way to have your personal circumstances evaluated properly.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Don't count your chickens before they hatch. By that I mean put the consent form on the table in front of him and a notary, hand him a pen, and see what happens.
     
  8. Jclif19

    Jclif19 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was financially struggling and we both agreed it would be best to let her new husband to adopt my child...I've been steadily employeed for 3 years and now I'm stable enough to adopt my wife's kids. How hard would it be?
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It'll be very hard.
    It'll also be expensive, and you'll require the services of a family law attorney.

    As to being more specific, a licensed, VA lawyer will guide you.

    In most cases, someone is very lucky if its done in less than a year.

    If the birth parent’s whereabouts are known and he/she is willing to sign a consent to the adoption, or if he or she is deceased, or if his identity is completely unknown and always has been unknown (and clearly he was never married to the birth mother or named on the birth certificate or otherwise named or determined to be the father), then it is a simple step-parent adoption. In such instances, charges run about $1000 flat fee for legal services plus obtain a retainer of $150 on average for costs (the filing fee alone is $89 and the cost of issuing two new birth certificates in Virginia is $34) if the child was born in VA and $100 for costs if the child was born elsewhere (in which case the adoptive parents will obtain and pay for the new birth certificates from the other state directly).

    After you file the adoption petition, the court has the discretion to enter a Final Order of Adoption and usually will do so if the child has lived with the step-parent for at least three years. Alternatively the court can enter an Order of Reference which requires a local licensed child placement agency or the local Department of Social Services to do a 60-day report. The agency or department typically will charge you directly $200-$400 for that report. If the step-parent and his or her spouse have not been married for very long, or the step-parent has not been in the position of acting like a parent to the child for very long, then the court will usually require this report.

    If the child was born in another state then you will need to use the adoption order to get the new birth certificate. If the child was born in Virginia then your lawyer will get the new birth certificate for you, which is included in the flat fee (generally) and anticipated costs.

    Some interesting information on adoption in general:

    Step Parent | Parental Placements | Adoption | Quinn Law Centers

    Child Adoption Laws Virginia

    Adoption Toolkit - Faces of Virginia Families

    How much does adoption cost? | Adoption Questions
     
  10. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

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    Why do people continue to make mistakes in life?? If already gave up a child.... Children are not cars with titles nor should they be treated as such. You need to leave this alone. Continue the relationship with the mother and leave the child alone. There is NO benefit for the child being adopted by you.


    10 years down the road.... When your 1st child shows up at your door. Asking.... Why did you give me up? You say it was because i was a deadbeat father. I failed to do my responsibilities in life and take care of you. But HEY... You have a step brother/sister that i adopted after giving you up.
     
  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I can only comment on the "legal" aspect. Moral, practical, financial, emotional, etc, considerations are none of my business.

    If you have the consent of the father, and you and your family want to do it, then go for it. There are plenty of do-it-yourself guides, forms and instructions online, even likely on your local court's website. Try it without a lawyer and see how it goes.

    Nobody can guess how "hard" it will be. You won't know that until you get started.
     

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