Yes, in most cases. In stepparent adoptions, the consent of the other birth parent is required unless the other birth parent’s parental rights have been terminated due to in an abuse or and neglect proceeding, or if the judge finds that the other birth parent has abandoned the child.
Getting consent from the other birth parent can be difficult because, in giving consent, that birth parent is giving up all of his or her parental rights. Of course, this means that that birth parent is giving up all parental responsibilities, such as paying child support, as well. If the birth parent does not have a relationship with the child anyway, the stepparent may have an easier time getting consent. In some cases, the other birth parent may recognize that the stepparent adoption is in the child’s best interest. In those cases, consent is not hard to obtain.
The other birth parent must give consent in writing. The writing signed by the other birth parent must have very specific information that required by West Virginia law (W.Va. Code 48-22-303). Click here to read what the consent must say. You may need a lawyer to help you write the consent.