Step Parent Adoption in Alberta
The process of adopting a step child begins when the birth parent to the child and his or her new spouse files an Application in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The adoption forms which are necessary at the same time include affidavits that outline the child’s birth parents, date and place of birth, the child’s gender and which parent has lawful custody of the child. The Court will also need to see the terms of an Agreement or Order respecting access, custody and contact time with the child.
Consent for Adoption
Both birth parents and all guardians of the child must consent to the adoption. Should the child be older than 12, he or she must consent as well. If one of the parties required do not consent, the applicant step parent must provide an Affidavit giving the reasons why the Court is being asked to dispense with these consents. You may also ask the Court to change the child’s name as required. The hearing date for the adoption application is then set by the Clerk of the Court.
Adoption Court Process
Once the adoption papers are accepted and all parties have been served, the Court will then consider the adoption matter. The Court must be satisfied that the proposed adopting step parent is capable and willing to assume the responsibility of parenting the children and that the adoption is in the best interests of the child. Sometimes the Court may ask for a home assessment report to be completed by a qualified Social Worker or Psychologist.
Once the Court is satisfied that the adoption is in the best interests of the child, the Court will issue an Order for the adoption, and for the name change as requested. The adopting parent is then considered a legal parent of the child in the same way as if the child was born to them. The other biological parent and family are considered legal strangers to the child after the adoption. The Department of Vital Statistics issues a new birth certificate for the child. The adopting step parent is recorded on the birth certificate as the mother or father of the child.
The Court is very cautious about the granting of adoptions as it legally replaces the child’s parent for another. It is very common to have Applications be denied or refused due to clerical errors or concern about consents being properly given. RCMV LLP has experience in applying for and having these applications granted for their clients. We can ensure that your package is properly put together to help a step parent receive their Order and to allow a child to gain a new and loving parent.