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Understanding stepparent adoptions in North Dakota

Many families are a mix of "his kids" and "her kids." However, some people wish to adopt their stepchildren and for various reasons. Perhaps the biological parent has abandoned the child and the stepparent is ready to step up and take that responsibility. Maybe the other biological parent is in prison or has passed away. No matter what the reason, at Melinda Weerts Law, PLLC, we represent many stepparents who wish to adopt their spouses' children.

According to the North Dakota Revised Uniform Adoption Act, any individual may be adopted by a stepparent as long as the biological parent consents. Here are some other requirements for stepparent adoptions in North Carolina:

-- Adoption proceedings must be heard by the court where the plaintiff or the person to be adopted is living. The court does have the authority to transfer the case in the interest of substantial justice.

-- Consent is not required if the parent has deserted the child, abandoned his or her parental rights, had his or her parental rights terminated, has been declared mentally incompetent or defective by the court or failed to respond in writing within 60 days to a request for consent.

-- Consent cannot be withdrawn after the court finalizes the adoption.

These are just a few of the requirements that must be met before the court will approve a stepparent adoption. As you can see, it can be rather complex. At Melinda Weerts Law, PLLC, we have a great deal of experience in handling adoptions. To learn more about how adoptions work in North Dakota, please visit our webpages on the topic.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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