Sunday, December 18, 2011

Step-Parent Adoption DENIED

Just about the only cases I've seen where a step-parent adoption is denied are with same-sex parents.  But in this Arkansas case, the court denies the adoption because wanna-be step-mom seems to be restricting the maternal grandparents from seeing the child:
Here, the circuit court found, in pertinent part:
Although Derek and Andrea testified that it was coincidence, the restriction of [Doris]’s and [Bertie]’s contact with [J.P.] began when Derek and Andrea started dating. From an observation of Andrea as a witness, the Court finds Andrea’s attitude toward [J.P.] to be possessive and exclusive of the maternal family. The Court finds that an adoption of [J.P.] by Andrea would not be conducive to fostering a relationship between [J.P.] and his maternal family. A hindrance or loss of a relationship with his maternal family would not be in the best interest of [J.P.]

Considering all the best interest factors, the Court finds that the adoption of
[J.P.] by Andrea is not currently in the best interest of [J.P.] The Petition for
Adoption is denied.
It is clear from Andrea’s testimony that tension existed between her and J.P.’s maternal family.It is that tension that troubled the circuit court and served as the court’s basis for finding that the adoption was not currently in J.P.’s best interest; we do not disagree. That is not to say that it would not be in his best interest at some point in the future. However, giving due regard to the opportunity and superior position of the circuit court to judge the witnesses before it, we cannot say the circuit court’s finding that adoption was not currently in J.P.’s best interest was clearly against the preponderance of the evidence. For this reason, we affirm the circuit court’s denial of the petition for adoption.
What do you think?  I'm generally in favor of second-parent adoption (check out my post titled Why Second Parent Adoption is a Good Thing), since it legalizes an already-existing relationship.  It's not like the step-mom is going to disappear from J.P.'s life because she can't adopt him, but the legalization of that relationship offers him more protections/rights than having one legal parent gives him.

But it is interesting to see here that the court seems concerns about maintaining relaionships with biological relatives as a reason to deny the adoption. . . ..

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any process that seals a person's birth certificate should NOT be deemed in the "best interest of the child". That child will grow up and discover that his/her truthful documentation of birth was permanently sealed because adults decided that a legal relationship was more important than the truth.

-Mara

theadoptedones said...

I agree with Mara...