Blended families can be a blessing to all involved. There’s more love to go around when a child is loved by biological parent(s) and stepparents. Sometimes a stepparent has truly taken on the role of parent and wants to solidify his or her relationship with the stepchild legally through adoption. Stepparent adoption can be an option in some circumstances. A stepparent adoption can be a viable option if the other biological parent is not involved in the child’s life and either consents or has their parental rights terminated. Below we answer some common questions regarding stepparent adoptions. If you have more questions about your specific situation, please reach out to schedule a consultation.
Can my spouse adopt my child from a previous relationship?
Your spouse and the child’s stepparent may be eligible to adopt your child from a prior relationship if:
What do we need from the child’s other biological parent to proceed with a stepparent adoption?
The child’s other biological parent must either:
If there is not sufficient evidence to terminate parental rights and the other biological parent will not consent, then the stepparent will not be able to adopt the child.
What consents are needed to move forward with a stepparent adoption?
What kind of assessment or home study is required for a stepparent adoption?
A Report to the Court may be necessary in certain stepparent adoptions. A Report to the Court is a report or assessment completed by the Department of Social Services or other agency to assist the court in determining if the proposed adoption is in the child’s best interest.
In stepparent adoptions, a Report to the Court:
Will the child’s other biological parent still owe child support for the adoptee?
If the child is adopted by the stepparent, the child’s other biological parent will not owe any future child support obligation. The child’s other biological parent will remain liable for past-due child support payments unless legally released from that obligation.
If you want more information regarding the possibility of stepparent adoption, please reach out to our office to schedule a consultation.
Lindsey Dasher is the Managing Partner at Dasher Law PLLC