Co-Parent and Step-Parent Adoptions, Name Changes and Guardianships

Step-parent Adoptions

In Connecticut, private adoptions are generally not permitted. There is a concern that they are unregulated, the “costs” may be excessive and there is no agency investigating the adoptive family to determine their financial and emotional stability. Relative adoptions, are permitted under certain circumstances and step-parent adoptions.

If the other biological parent Is living, their parental rights need to be terminated before the step-parent adoption proceeds. This can either be voluntary; the other biological parent signing an affidavit to this effect or by petition to the Probate Court stating that biological parent has not provided the care and guidance that the child requires. This petition, whether based upon voluntary or involuntary termination is not automatically granted and requires serious consideration. For example, the court will not permit a termination of parental rights that has the effect of leaving the child without support from two parents. If you are considering this action, you should discuss your case with an attorney.

If the Biological Parent is Deceased

If the biological parent is deceased and there is no one else who has adopted this child, there is no need to terminate the parental rights of the deceased parent.

If the Child was Conceived by Alternative Insemination

If your child was conceived through alternative insemination and the donor is anonymous, there are no parental rights to terminate. You must be able to provide the court with the proof however that this is true. The agency or clinic will provide you with the necessary proof.

If the sperm donor is known to you, his parental rights will need to be terminated by a Probate judge. An agreement signed by all the parties that he has no intent to be involved in this child’s life and is merely donating sperm is not sufficient. Speak to an attorney before using a known donor.

Co-Parent vs. Step-Parent

In Connecticut, if you are not married to your significant other and want to adopt a child that is either the biological child of your significant other or previously adopted by them, you would be considered a co-parent. In these situations, the judge will order a home study be performed to determine if the adoption is in the child’s best interests.

If you are the spouse of the biological parent of the child , you are considered a step-parent under Connecticut Law and the statutes permit a judge discretion to waive the requirement of a home study prior to determining if adoption is in the child’s best interests.

Speak to an attorney who can discuss the facts of your case and whether adoption is an advisable option under those facts.

For further information:
Adoption in Connecticut A Guide to Resources in the Law Library

Name Changes

People occasionally request their name be changed. The reasons vary however, must be for legal purposes. In Connecticut a change of name application is filed in the Probate Court district where you reside.

If you are an adult you must sign an affidavit that you are not attempting by this act to “deceive, defraud or mislead any person or governmental agency, nor to avoid the legal consequences of a criminal conviction.” The Probate Court will investigate whether you are on the Sex Offender Registry before granting any such application.

If the application is for a minor child, and you are the parent or guardian you must sign an affidavit on their behalf. The process must not be undertaken to hide the child from his or her legal parents or guardian.

You must submit an original long form birth certificate which will not be returned to you.

A Connecticut attorney at Gryk & Frolich may be able to discuss the Probate name change process with you.

Guardianship in Probate Court

There are a number of reasons a guardianship of a minor child or person with intellectual disabilities is sought.

A guardian is named by the Probate court and has specific rights and duties. They take care of the minor and/or their property. They may appoint co-guardians so that two people serve in this role. It provides the guardian with the ability to make important decisions that affect the minor’s welfare.

There may be a temporary guardian appointed if the parent is not available for a period of time or incapable of caring for the minor child. The temporary guardianship will last for a year unless the court reappoints the guardian. This appointment will be based upon the facts of your case. A Connecticut attorney at Gryk & Frolich LLC may be able to discuss the options with you.

For further information:
Connecticut Law About Guardianship

This should not be taken as legal advice and the reader is advised to contact an attorney to determine their rights. Law varies from state to state.

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