Adopting a child is a beautiful, deeply impactful process that legally solidifies the relationship between a child and the adoptive parent.  The most common type of adoption is a stepparent adoption, but sometimes an aunt, uncle, grandparent, other relative, or even a non-relative is seeking to adopt a child. For an adoption to be granted, the rights of at least one biological parent must be terminated by a court.  To terminate the rights of a biological parent, the biological parent can voluntarily relinquish his or her parental rights by signing an Affidavit, or the Court can terminate the parental rights involuntarily under certain circumstances if the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the child’s best interest to do so.   After the appropriate petition is filed with the Court, the Court typically appoints an amicus attorney, who will conduct a home visit, a criminal background check must be conducted, an adoption evaluation (formerly known as a home study) must be prepared, and a final hearing must be held.   If you are seeking to adopt a child, you need an experienced family law attorney who will steadfastly guide you through each step of the process in an efficient manner and properly prepare you for the final hearing—a hearing that will be one of the most significant, poignant events in your life.