Whether it is for reasons of necessity, love or both, many Connecticuters choose to expand their family units. This may include a stepparent deciding to adopt the child or children of his or her spouse. There are some basic steps to remember when preparing to start the adoption of a stepchild.

Adopting a stepchild is not a decision to take lightly, according to Family Education. A stepparent may want to carefully consider if it is the right time to start the process. An important point to think about prior to beginning proceedings might be whether or not the relationship between the stepparent and spouse is conducive to the long-term support of the adopted kid or kids. Also, adoption involves the permanent termination of the parental rights of a biological father or mother. This may complicate the progress, as there is the possibility the biological parent might not be willing to release his or her responsibilities. All affected parties may want to make sure that the transfer of rights is actually in the best interest of the child or children involved.

If it is decided that the process should be started, Child Welfare Information Gateway provides a general outline of the steps. It is worth noting that consulting with an attorney about the specific circumstances of a situation may be necessary, as adoption laws vary by area and may change over time. The various stages of the procedure lead up to an adoption hearing, which finalizes the adoption and allows the stepparent to obtain a new birth certificate that solidifies the legal relationship. This includes completing and sending in all the required paperwork to the correct government agencies as well as attending any precursory hearings that may involve obtaining all the necessary consent for moving forward with the adoption hearing.