Stepparent Adoption Attorney in Gwinnett County

Stepparent Adoption Attorneys in Gwinnett, Fulton, and Clayton Counties

If you are a step-parent and would like to gain parental rights and responsibilities for your stepchild, you may be able to petition the court for a stepparent adoption. Stepparent adoptions in Georgia are relatively simple and straightforward and can be accomplished without the need for a lawyer in most cases. However, if you are facing any complex or unique circumstances, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the stepparent adoption process.

To learn more about stepparent adoptions and how they work in Georgia, contact our firm at (770) 285-1673 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Contact us today.

What Is a Stepparent Adoption?

In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent petitions the court to gain parental rights and responsibilities for their stepchild. However, when facing complicated circumstances, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the stepparent adoption process.

How Do Stepparent Adoptions Work in Georgia?

In Georgia, stepparent adoption procedures are governed by the Georgia Code, Chapter 9: Domestic Relations:

  • Divorce and other family law proceedings can have an impact on stepparent adoptions, and vice versa.
  • A stepparent adoption can be accomplished by filing a petition with the court, and then attending a hearing before the judge.
  • The petition must include the names and addresses of each of the stepchild's parents, and the stepchild's birth certificate. The petition must also include the name, address, and marital status of the step parent, and the age and birthplace of the stepchild.
  • The petition must also state that the step parent and stepchild have lived together in Georgia for at least one year. If the stepchild is 14 or older, they must also consent to the adoption.

Although stepparent adoptions do not require a home study, the court may require the step parent to submit a background check and/or a drug test.

Can a Stepparent Adoption Be Denied?

Although stepparent adoptions are relatively straightforward, the Georgia courts will only grant the adoption if it is in the best interest of the stepchild. The court will consider a number of factors when determining the stepchild's best interest, including:

  • The wishes of the stepchild's parents
  • The relationship between the stepchild and their parents
  • The ability of the stepchild to maintain a relationship with their biological parents
  • The physical, mental, and emotional health of all individuals involved
  • The moral fitness of the step parent
  • The ability of the step parent to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing home environment

As you can see, the court will consider a number of factors when considering the stepchild's best interest. As such, it is important to be honest and upfront with the court about any circumstances that may be relevant to the stepchild's best interest.


Pursuing a stepparent adoption may seem straightforward, but there are common pitfalls that can complicate the process. One of the main errors people make is failing to obtain the consent of the biological parent when required, which can lead to legal challenges. Additionally, incorrectly filling out paperwork or failing to provide the necessary documentation can delay or even derail the adoption process. Many individuals also underestimate the importance of preparing for the adoption hearing, which can impact the court's decision. Understanding and navigating the emotional complexities involved, especially for the stepchild and the non-custodial parent, is another area where mistakes can be made.


An experienced family law attorney can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of a stepparent adoption, ensuring a smoother process:

  • Legal Guidance: Attorneys offer valuable advice on the legal requirements and help ensure that all paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time.
  • Consent Issues: They can assist in obtaining the necessary consent from the biological parent or advise on legal alternatives if consent cannot be obtained.
  • Representation: An attorney can represent you during court proceedings, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and professionally.
  • Advisory: They can provide advice on how to handle sensitive issues, such as discussing the adoption with the stepchild and managing interactions with the non-custodial biological parent.
  • Preparation for Hearing: Attorneys help prepare for the adoption hearing, guiding on what to expect, how to dress, and how to address the judge.
  • Background Checks and Documentation: They can help ensure that any required background checks, home studies, or other documentation are completed correctly.
  • Avoid Delays: By managing the entire process, attorneys can help avoid delays caused by administrative errors or procedural misunderstandings.
  • Legal Strategies: In complex situations, such as when a biological parent contests the adoption, attorneys can develop legal strategies to support your case.
  • Post-Adoption Support: They can also provide advice on post-adoption issues, including the legal relationship between the stepchild and both their biological and adoptive parents, and changing the stepchild's last name, if desired.

By addressing these aspects, an attorney plays a critical role in ensuring that the stepparent adoption process is handled with the care, attention, and professionalism it requires.

Why Hire a Lawyer for Your Stepparent Adoption?

Though stepparent adoptions are often simple, certain issues can complicate the matter. When facing these problems, having an attorney around is the best way to avoid making mistakes that could set the process back or endanger your ability to get custody. Consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the stepparent adoption process.

Stepparent adoptions can impact other family law proceedings, and vice versa. As such, it is important to work with an attorney who is experienced in both stepparent adoptions and other family law matters, such as father's rights, mother's rights and child custody.

An experienced family law attorney can help you draft your petition and represent you in court, if necessary. An attorney can also advise you on any potential consequences of a stepparent adoption, such as the potential impact on child support and alimony.

To learn more about stepparent adoptions and how they work in Georgia, contact our firm at (770) 285-1673 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Contact us today.

  • “Daniels & Taylor was the perfect law firm!” - C.G.
  • “You have changed my life.” - Anonymous
  • “One of the most honest, straightforward attorneys.” - C.P.

WHy Choose Daniels & Taylor, P.c?

  • Professional & Trustworthy Clients are always our number one priority. We treat every client with the utmost respect and professionalism throughout every aspect of their case.
  • Community Reputation

    For over 25 years we have been recognized by our community and have been voted Best of Gwinnett from 2015-2021.

  • 5 Star Ratings Our clients love working with us! Visit our reviews page to read more about their experiences.
  • Established in 1994 Our firm has been serving clients in Gwinnett County for over 25 years. Lawrenceville is our town!