December 4th, 2006
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In the stepparent adoption forums on adoption.com, many questions revolve around how to get started on a stepparent adoption, where to look for information, and if there are any forms that are available online for the family to fill out to go a head and begin the stepparent adoption process.

Since the rules and procedures of stepparent adoptions vary from not only state to state, but also county to county, there unfortunately is not one resource that I can give to everyone in order to answer their questions and be able to send them on their stepparent adoption journey. However what I can do is to research the Internet extensively, and begin to compile the different sites, from different counties that do give specific information on stepparent adoption, as well as downloadable forms available for the family to fill out and begin the very first steps towards completing their stepparent adoption.

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The first site to be reviewed and compiled into my archives is the Superior Court of California, for the County of Santa Clara. This site is very informational. It divides the stepparent adoption process into six different steps, explaining each one. The steps for a stepparent adoption in Santa Clara County are:

1. Complete the forms
2. Get Consent
3. Mailing to Social Services
4. DCSS home visit and investigation
5. Before the hearing
6. The hearing

Each one of these steps is broken down on the website giving a brief synopsis of the step, as well as a clickable link to any forms that are necessary for the step to be completed. The documents need to be filed with the Downtown Superior Court, once they are completed, and a link their website is also provided for further instructions, hours of operations, as well as directions. By asking the clerk of courts, the family can obtain certified copies of the Order of Adoption for free. Picking up extra copies of the Order of Adoption always comes in handy, and the fact that the County of Santa Clara offers them for free is a huge bonus, as not every county provides this.

The bottom of the page includes several links pertaining to adoption that are also part of the Santa Clara County website. For those whom are in Santa Clara County in California, and looking to get started with their stepparent adoption, this site is definitely a great place to start, and a wonderful resource!

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