How can you adopt your stepchild?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2022 | Firm News |

If you are a stepparent that has fallen in love with your stepchild and are ready to formalize your relationship, it is time to explore stepparent adoption in Hawaii.

Adopting a stepchild is less arduous than other types of adoption, and can be a legal way to cement the relationship that is already in your heart.

What are the requirements to adopt a stepchild?

To adopt a stepchild in Hawaii you must meet these requirements:

  • The stepparent must live in Hawaii for 6 months
  • Have the permission of both biological parents
  • If the stepchild is over 14, their written consent

If the other biological parent is not a part of your life, how do you get permission?

If the absent parent has abandoned the child for 12 months, the court will waive the requirement for their permission. Additionally, they will waive the need for the absent parent’s consent in cases of neglect or incarceration; or if you provide proof that they are either unable or unfit to parent the child.

If you adopt your stepchild, what happens if you and their biological parent divorce?

Adoption is a lifelong commitment that does not end with divorce. Adoptive parents are legal parents for a lifetime. If you and your spouse divorce, you will have the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent.

If you are unwilling to make that lifelong commitment to your stepchild, regardless of what happens between you and their biological parent, then you should not go through the adoption process.

The opportunity to adopt your stepchild and cement your parental relationship can be a precious gift that yields a lifetime of love and family for everyone involved.