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“Articles Concerning Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By: Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

January 4, 2015 (San Diego County) – A stepparent adoption is the process of terminating a biological parent’s parental rights and recognizing the step-parent as the child’s legal parent. A biological parent’s rights can be terminated by consent or court order.

The procedure is commenced when the step-parent files an Adoption Request and either a consent to the adoption signed by the biological parent or a petition requesting the court to involuntarily terminate the biological parent’s rights. A conformed copy of the filed documents is then sent to the Health and Human Services Agency for a social worker to begin investigation of the matter.

The investigation includes a meeting between the social worker, step-parent, biological parent retaining parental rights and the child. Based upon his or her findings, the social worker prepares a report for the Court recommending the step-parent adoption be approved.

The procedure concludes when the judge approves the adoption at a hearing attended by the step-parent, biological parent retaining parental rights and the child and signs the adoption order. The process typically takes 4–6 months. However, it may take longer if the biological father refuses to cooperate.

Stephen represents estate planning, trust, will, probate, trust administration, business formation, stepparent adoption and family law matters. He conducts estate planning and probate seminars throughout San Diego County. For more information or to schedule a seminar contact Stephen at (619) 795-8524, or visit

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