As a stepparent, you have a special bond with your spouse or partner’s children from a previous relationship. You may feel like it’s time to legally formalize your family unit. Stepparent Adoption is a legal process where you formally adopt the children of your married spouse or Adult Interdependent Partner, who are under the age of 18 years old.
Adopting children is a strong legal and personal commitment. You become the parent and guardian of the adopted child as if the child was born to the adoptive parent. Being a parent and guardian has legal rights and responsibilities. It is important to obtain legal advice on what this means for you, your spouse, and the children. Consent from all parents and guardians, as well as from any child that is 12 years of age or older, is required for a consent adoption. In some circumstances, you can seek to dispense with a guardian or child’s consent.
Adoption in Alberta is governed by the Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act. There is residence, citizenship or residency, and timing requirements under the Act. The process requires a Court Application to be filed with all the necessary information and documentation, and the Court determines is the adoption is in the best interests of the child. Usually, a hearing or in-person appearance at Court is not required.
The legal paperwork and process can be a little daunting. We are here to explain what adoption will mean for you legally, walk you through it and take care of the paperwork. This allows you to keep your time and energy focused on your family.