In most cases, the adoption of a child is a joyous occasion that benefits both the child and the adoptive parent. Children have been known to thrive in households where there are two stable and consistent parents. As a result, many stepparents look to adopt their stepchildren as a way to give them the permanency that they crave. But what happens to the child’s natural parent after a divorce? What rights do they retain, and how does adoption affect the collection of past or future child support payments? Let’s take a closer look at child custody, adoption and how it may impact your rights and responsibilities.
Adoption In Oklahoma
When you decide to adopt a child, what you are doing is asking the court to make you the legal parent. In order to do this, the child’s natural parent(s) must consent to or have their parental rights terminated. For instance, if you are trying to adopt the children of your wife, then the children’s natural father’s parental rights must be eliminated before the step-parent adoption can be finalized. The easiest way to do this is to have the natural parent simply give up their rights by agreement. If the natural parent does not do this, you will need to ask the court to terminate their rights involuntarily. This can be an expensive and time-consuming process.
If the court orders the parental rights of the natural parent to be terminated, that parent may not be able to apply for custody or make decisions concerning the child. All of their rights and responsibilities concerning the child will now be transferred to you. This is not just financial: you will also be required to provide for the child’s emotional, mental, physical, and educational needs.
Adoption And Child Support
Once the adoption is complete, you will now be viewed as the child’s legal parent, which means you will possess all the rights and responsibilities that the law confers on parents. Conversely, the natural parent, whose parental rights were terminated, will no longer be considered the child’s parent or responsible for the child’s well-being. This means that they can no longer be ordered to make ongoing child support payments. However, if they still owe past due child support, then they must continue to make payments until that debt is satisfied.
Once you become the child’s legal parent, you may be ordered to pay child support in the future. For example, if you adopted the child of your spouse and then later get divorced, you are still the child’s parent in the eyes of the law and may be ordered to pay child support accordingly. Put another way, because the child’s natural parent’s rights were terminated and you are now the legal parent, the law requires you to financially support your child.
Oklahoma Adoption, Child Support Lawyer
If you find issues of adoption, child support and child custody to be complicated and confusing, know that you are not alone. Fortunately, a family law attorney can help you understand how an Oklahoma adoption can affect future child support obligations and other duties. With years of experience helping individuals in family law cases, Kania Law Office knows how to substantially help you tackle complex issues pertaining to child support, child custody, divorce, adoption and more. Our family law attorneys are able to guide you through the process. For more insights on how we can help, reach out to Kania Law Office today by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.