We called a wonderful lawyer named Stephanie Dietz and began to the process. The process was relatively easy for adopting a step child. Marsha had to have a lawyer to go over her rights. She signed over all her legal rights to me. She acknowledged that she thought that I would be a good mother to Faith. Then my husband had to see an attorney of his own. He wasn’t allowed to use mine since it was a conflict of interest. The lawyer explained that he didn’t have to do it. Basically, they want to be sure that everyone agrees to the adoption.
The final part was a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) for Faith. “Since minor children cannot make legal decisions for themselves, nor bind themselves legally to any contractual obligations, in any legal proceeding where the legal interests of a child and the legal interests of its parents are considered to be adverse or in conflict with each other, a guardian ad litem will be appointed for the child by the court to provide an independent adult to act on behalf of the child in the legal proceeding, and to make certain that the interests and legal rights of the child are given adequate consideration and are adequately protected in that process. The legal protective status of a guardian ad litem will exist only within the confines of the particular court case in which the appointment was made.” Found at http://glossary.adoption.com/guardian-ad-litem.html.
This process took about six months simply for paperwork. It was a very easy process.