Independent adoptions can include Second Parent (also known as Step-Parent) & Kinship Adoptions.
Second parent or step-parent adoptions are a little different from what people usually think of when they think about a traditional adoption. The main distinction is that there is an established relationship between the child and the adopting parent in these cases. Most second parent adoptions involve either a step-parent adopting a spouse’s biological child or adoptions by a same sex couple.
In a kinship adoption, a child is adopted by a family member or close family friend. Second parent and step-parent adoptions are types of kinship adoptions, although “kin” can also include extended family and other close relationships to the child.
In these types of inter-family adoptions, there are usually no pre-placement or home study requirements. The costs are much lower since there is already an identified child and you simply need an Attorney to finalize the adoption.
When a stepparent, gay parent, or other family member is considering legally adopting a child with whom they have an existing relationship, that person should understand the rights and responsibilities associated with the adoption. When an adoption is finalized, all rights of the birth parent(s) have been terminated and are then assumed by the adoptive parent as if the relationship was biological. This means the child is entitled to inherit from the adoptive parent (and vice versa), collect social security benefits and child support, custody, insurance, and so on. Deciding to adopt your spouse’s or other family member’s child is a major decision and it is imperative that both the step-parent and the biological parent (and the child, if old enough) agree that this is the best decision for your family.
Second parent and kinship adoptions can be finalized much quicker than other types of adoptions. If you’re thinking about a step-parent, second parent, or other kinship adoption, it’s important that you speak with an Attorney as soon as possible to make sure the process is smooth and painless.