Stepparent Or Second Parent Adoption

Stepparent adoptions provide an adoptive stepparent with the same rights and responsibilities as a birth parent.

The general process for a stepparent or second parent adoption includes the following steps:

  • A Petition for Adoption must be filed.
  • In the situation where a parent of the child is giving up their parental rights so a step-parent can adopt the child, generally, that parent must consent to the proposed stepparent adoption.
  • The child’s birth parent (not the spouse of the stepparent) must be notified either personally or by publication.
  • The stepparent must undergo a criminal records background check.
  • A home study of the child’s living situation with the potential adopting stepparent will be required.
  • If there are issues pertaining to non-payment of support or abandonment of the child by the other birth parent for a period of at least one year, additional steps may need to be taken.
  • When the court issues a final decree of adoption, the judge will also issue an order terminating the other parent’s parental rights at that time.

Related Practice Areas

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