Mother and young daughter sit together on the patio in the backyard on a sunny day

Is It Possible to Reverse a Stepparent Adoption?

If you are considering a stepparent adoption, you may wonder whether it’s possible to reverse such a decision once it’s been finalized. After all, adopting a child under any circumstance is a huge undertaking and not one to be taken lightly.

It’s good you are considering questions like this before making the decision to become an official stepparent. Read on for the answers you need.

Reversing a Stepparent Adoption Is Possible, But Not Easy

Luckily, it is possible to reverse an adoption once it’s been finalized. In order for an adoption to be reversed, an interested party must submit a petition to the court.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that even though you may be able to reverse a stepparent adoption, the laws concerning the process are rigid. If the adoption is successfully reversed, the child’s birth certificate will be altered to reflect its original condition prior to the adoption.

Three Parties May Reverse an Adoption

The law allows three parties to reverse a finalized adoption, including:

  • The Child’s Birth Parents
    • If the child’s birth parents wish to reverse the adoption and restore their parental rights, the adoptive parents must also provide their consent for the decision.
  • The Child’s Adoptive Parents
    • If for some reason the child’s adoptive parents wish to reverse the adoption, they must be able to provide evidence to the court showing that terminating the adoption is in the best interest of the child. This can be the case if the child and adoptive parents cannot get along or build a positive bond.
  • The Child
    • There are many reasons why a child may want to reverse his or her adoption. Sometimes, the child would like to be emancipated from his or her adoptive parents. Other times, a failed relationship with the adoptive parents is why an adopted child chooses to reverse the adoption.

Viable Reasons for an Adoption Reversal

The courts carefully consider why a child’s adoption may be reversed. According to the California courts, an adoption agreement may be terminated or modified only if:

  • All applicable parties have signed the petition for the termination of the adoption agreement or have fulfilled a modified agreement filed with the petition, or
  • If the court discovers all of the following:
    • Concluding or modifying the adoption agreement is needed in order to serve the best interests of the child;
    • The circumstances have changed significantly since the approval of the original agreement; and
    • The petitioning party has participated or tried to engage in mediation or applicable dispute resolution.
  • The court may come to a decision without testimony or evidentiary hearing and has the right to independently rely on documentary evidence or other proof provided.
  • The court does not need a hearing for an adoption agreement to be modified or terminated if all applicable parties sign the petition providing consent or have fulfilled a modified agreement filed with the petition.

We’re Here for Your Support

If you would like to reverse a stepparent adoption agreement, we may be able to help you achieve that goal. We know how important it is to have family matters dealt with effectively and compassionately, and we have helped many others in similar situations successfully handle their family matters. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office right away with any questions you may have. We’re ready and waiting to take your call.

If you need help with your California adoption, contact our team at Law Offices of Kearney Baker right away by calling (626) 382-7391 or by filling out our online contact form.