In many families, a step-parent or relative is caring for a child as if the child was their own. The Sanders Firm, P.A. has had the honor of helping many people formalize this relationship over the years. Adoption is a process that creates a legal parent-child relationship. The adoption process also terminates the previous parent child relationship.

The Sanders Firm, P.A. provides assistance to step-parents and relatives of children who wish to legally adopt. In these cases, the child is often familiar with the step-parent or relative and has lived with them for many months or years. During a step-parent or relative adoption, the parental rights of the original parent are terminated in the same legal proceeding as the adoption. If the consent of the birth parent can be obtained an adoption can be finalized quickly and relatively inexpensively.

If the birth parent is unwilling to give consent allowing his/her parental rights to be terminated in order to allow the step-parent or relative to adopt, it must be established in court that the birth parent is either illegitimate or unfit. Unstable living conditions, improper nutrition, sexual, emotional and physical abuse are all factors that seriously affect a child’s health, growth and development. If found to exist by the court, the basis for termination of parental rights may be granted so that the step-parentor relative may proceed to adopt the child. This process requires the filing of a separate action for termination and is much more involved.

The Sanders Firm. P.A. is not an adoption agency and does not handle cases that do not involve step-parents or relatives of the children to be adopted.