One of the more common types of adoption, stepparent and domestic partner adoptions occur when the legally married spouse or registered domestic partner wishes to adopt the child of their significant other. Although at least one of the child’s birth parents still holds custody after the adoption takes place, this type of adoption can get a bit heated when the second parent is still alive.
If the second parent is deceased, you must show proof of death in the adoption request; otherwise, you must obtain written consent from the second parent. If you’re unsure as to where the second parent is, you must do everything you can to find them (which includes contacting mutual friends, searching the internet, and contacting the DMV or county clerk’s office for more information). Once that’s occurred and you still cannot locate their whereabouts, you can file for a court order to terminate the rights of the second birth parent. Where it gets tricky is when the second birth parent declines to consent. The court will want to hear the other birth parent’s story before deciding whether to end all of their parental rights over the child.
It’s best to consult a lawyer when you aren’t sure who or where the second birth parent is, are unsure as to whether they are deceased or not, or if the second parent doesn’t consent to the adoption.