In Family Law, all too frequently, we sadly see that not everyone wants or feels a need to spend time with their children. The reasons are different for each such parent - some feel that there is too much underlying strife in the relationship between the parents and rationalize that staying away is easier, some are struggling with mental illness or emotional disorders, some are mired in chemical addictions and some are simply too lazy to care. Wen this occurs, the children are inevitably impacted by that absence of emotional support, and if the parent has completely given up, by an absence of financial support.
In these situations, it is not uncommon to see new significant others fill the gap. Happily, Kentucky law does a great deal to facilitate supportive households with its statutes regarding stepparent adoptions. The rules are simple - there must be a valid marriage (no common law marriages or same sex marriages will qualify at this point in time), and the state must issue a report that the adoptive couple meets that criteria. If the adoption is consensual, the consent must be sworn and not under duress; if it is not consensual, then the adoptive stepparent must be able to prove abandonment due to reasons not related to poverty alone for a period of not less than 90 days, and must do so by clear and convincing evidence.
In this office, we are very familiar with these family law issues, have dealt with stepparent adoptions on many occasions, and stand ready to assist in helping you plan how best to maintain such an action.