Step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption. The process of step-parent adoption in Oregon requires some preparation and planning, although Oregon adoption law is fairly straightforward. A step-parent may complete the process in Oregon without an attorney by using the proper circuit court resources.
Oregon requires that a person petitioning for adoption be a resident of the state for at least six months.
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An adoption attorney may be necessary to complete the process, especially if the adoption may be contested by a biological parent. In Oregon, a paralegal or attorney may draw up an adoption petition. Additionally, the Oregon Department of Human Services for Children, Adults and Families may require a home study to complete an adoption, though this requirement is often waived in the case of a step-parent adoption.
The parent and adopting step-parent must decide how or whether to obtain consent from the biological parent. In the state of Oregon, a biological parent must give consent for the step-parent to adopt. This requirement may be waived in certain cases of mental deficiency, imprisonment or abandonment. Children over the age of 14 must consent to any adoption.
Contact the county circuit court to obtain an adoption packet. This packet will contain all necessary forms to complete the adoption. The circuit court can answer any questions about specific requirements of an adoption.
In Oregon, a petition drawn up by a paralegal or attorney, verification of length of residence and contact information on all parties are included as part of the packet. Compliance with Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act must be verified. In addition, proof that the biological parent was served with proper paperwork is necessary.
Submit paperwork to the proper Oregon circuit court. Pay the filing fees. If an attorney is involved, he will file the paperwork. Once paperwork is complete and filed with the circuit court, all parties involved will be notified of an initial court date.
Attend the initial court hearing. If the adoption is contested, the judge will gather facts that will aid in determining the outcome of the adoption at this hearing. If the adoption is approved, a date to finalize the adoption is set. Oregon has a 90-day waiting period before the adoption can be finalized.
Attend the final adoption hearing. In the state of Oregon, the adoption certificate will be issued at this time. From this point, the step-parent has all the rights and responsibilities of a parent and is considered the legal parent.
File for the amended birth certificate. This birth certificate will list the adoptive parent as a parent.
Talking to an experienced adoption attorney is advisable for contested adoptions.
Oregon Legal Aid will assist with step-parent adoptions if one is not affordable.
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